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Alaskan Seafood Processor fined over $54,000 for Federal Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 04/10/2008
Contact Information: Chris Gebhardt, NPDES Compliance Officer, (206) 553-0253, gebhardt.chris@epa.gov Tony Brown, Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Naknek, Alaska – April 10, 2008) Leader Creek Fisheries, LLC (Leader Creek), an Alaskan seafood processor located in Naknek has agreed to pay a $54,061 penalty to settle alleged federal Clean Water Act violations.

Based on an inspection of Leader Creek on June 24, 2003 and a follow-up inspection on July 7, 2006, EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) found that Leader Creek was not in compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge elimination System (NPDES) permit.

Leader Creek’s grinder broke in early July 2006. During that time, Leader Creek had the following NPDES violations:

Failed to grind its seafood waste to ” or smaller before discharging;
Failed to have a backup grinder or spare parts; and
Failed to report the broken grinder.

EPA also alleged that Leader Creek:

Failed to submit an annual report;
Failed to perform daily inspections of its operations and the surface and shoreline to ensure that the facility was operating correctly; and
Exceeded allowable discharge amounts.

According to Kim Ogle, NPDES Compliance Manager, it is extremely important for seafood processors like Leader Creek to continuously monitor their facility operations.

“Processors need to make sure that they have the necessary spare parts on hand to fix problems with their pollution control equipment,” said EPA’s Ogle. “Such proactive measures protect the environment and cost processors less in the long run because they will not have to choose between suspending operations and processing out of compliance with their permit.”

The NPDES permit program, a key part of the federal Clean Water Act, controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters in the United States.

For more information about EPA’s NPDES discharge program, visit:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm

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