2002 News Releases
EPA, Trident Seafoods Agree on Remedy for Fish Waste Problems
Release Date: 11/21/2002
Contact Information: Robert Grandinetti
November 21, 2002
Company to pay $96K for illegal ‘eruptions’ of putrid waste that fouled water, angered residents
The Northwest regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Trident Seafoods of Seattle has agreed to end the company’s chronic discharges of seafood processing waste from its facilities in Ketchikan and Akutan Island in Alaska.
A series of illegal discharges of seafood processing wastes at Trident’s Ketchikan facility caused eruptions of waste from discharge areas on the ocean floor, sending large mats of decomposing fish waste up to the surface. The eruptions also emit large amounts of sulfur dioxide, greatly distressing residents of Ketchikan who smell the gas.
Trident’s Akutan Island facility also discharged seafood wastes and discharged pollutants, including seafood processing waste, wastewater, solids and residues to Akutan Harbor through an unauthorized outfall at the Akutan facility, in violation of the Clean Water Act.
Under terms of the agreement filed today in U.S. District Court in Anchorage the company agrees to:
- send all seafood processing waste from the two facilities to a fish meal plant; barge the waste to an approved, at-sea disposal site; or use an EPA-approved, alternative disposal method for three years;
- clean up the existing waste piles;
- improve operations using better “best management practices,” and better inspections of the treatment process and discharge line;
- prevent eruptions of the seafood waste piles;
- complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (“SEP”) consisting of an economic analysis weighing the costs and benefits of using a fish meal plant versus the current “grind-and-discharge” treatment of seafood processing wastes; and
- pay a $96,000 penalty.
“While there is a punitive piece to this settlement,” said L. John Iani, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle, “we at EPA think that the other requirements of this agreement will provide far more benefit to the environment than additional penalties ever could. We believe that this settlement will help lead the seafood industry into a new era of seafood waste disposal that will benefit the environment and industry.”