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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed a Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) with North Pacific Processors, Inc. (NPPI) for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Specifically, the Order includes a penalty of $25,000 for discharge violations at the company’s (Sitka Sound Seafoods) processing facility in Sitka, Alaska. NPPI has a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit that allows them to grind & discharge solid seafood processing wastes up to to one-half inch in any dimension or smaller.
During several inspections in 2003, inspectors discovered multiple violations, including:
* Discharge particle size (larger than 1?2 in.);
* Items other than seafood waste that had been discharged; and
* Boundary violations of the permit’s designated Zone of Discharge.
According to Kim Ogle, EPA Water Permits Compliance Manager in Seattle, this action is part of an ongoing enforcement initiative to protect Alaska’s pristine water quality.
"Permit holders have a responsibility to consistently meet their permit limitations," said EPA’s Ogle. "By holding everyone accountable to the same strict standard of compliance, we level the playing field and remove the competitive advantage of cutting corners or avoiding investment in technology and commitment to best management practices."
The agreement takes effect immediately and does not alter the existing permits or exempt NPPI from future enforcement action at these or other facilities.