Alaska fines $470,000 to Bristol Bay salmon handler for environmental permit violations

The Alaska Division of Environmental Conservation has fined a Bristol Bay seafood processing plant $467,469 for violations courting again to 2017 that embrace unloading hundreds of thousands of kilos. The fish within the Naknek River waste greater than they had been allowed to dump.

The Silver Bay Seafoods plant on the Naknek River additionally allowed a ship in 2021 to dump bloody sewage from the catch into waters close to the dock, in violation of state necessities, in response to the 37-page consent settlement The 2 had been signed by the corporate and Alaska officers.

An organization spokeswoman mentioned Silver Bay Seafoods, which operates a number of Alaskan seafood processing amenities, has taken steps to right the issue.

“Silver Bay Seafoods voluntarily applied corrective actions previous to finalizing the settlement,” mentioned Abby Frederick, an organization spokeswoman. “We’re assured that these measures will guarantee compliance for this season and past.”

The plant is situated about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage. It’s situated about 5 miles from the mouth of the Naknek River. The state allowed the corporate to dump 10 million kilos of fish into the river, by way of an estuary line, after it had been floor into small items. A lot of the waste might hurt the river system, the company mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday.

The penalty kick comes similar to one other Massive salmon fishing season is predicted To heat up quickly in Bristol Bay. The state mentioned fishermen and processors are gearing as much as hit a possible document variety of 75 million salmon fish.

Randy Bates, director of the division, mentioned the superb seems to be the biggest ever by the Alaska Water Division, which incorporates previous violations by the oil, gasoline and mining industries.

“That is usually, to the very best of our information, the very best penalty assessed for a allow holder,” Bates mentioned in an interview.

Bates mentioned Silver Bay deliberately ignored the phrases of the state’s allow.

Bates mentioned the scale of the superb is dependent upon an account below EPA tips. A lot of them deal with the financial benefit the processor obtained from abuse over rivals, he mentioned.

Bates mentioned the penalty is the results of negotiations between the corporate and the Water Division.

Silver By Sea Meals slept quick Because the opening of its first facility in Sitka in 2007. one proprietor is StarKist, the US canned tuna firm, in response to Alaska Business information.

The company mentioned in an announcement that an inspection by the Environmental Conservation Division in 2021 discovered a number of violations on the NKNC plant, together with fish waste that had not been floor into sufficiently small items.

In an announcement in 2020, the state mentioned the Silver Bay Seafood Firm illegally dumped practically 5 million kilos of fish waste into the Nacke River, exceeding the permitted restrict by practically 50%.

And in 2017, a seafood manufacturing facility illegally dumped about 3 million kilos of waste into the Naknek River, about 30% greater than it was allowed to empty. The corporate claimed it was “because of the unprecedented quantity of salmon we processed (in that) 12 months,” in response to paperwork related to the settlement.

The settlement outlines the steps Silver Bay should take to stop comparable waste sooner or later.

They embrace contracting transport ships to maneuver further waste away from the river, and offering higher communication with captains about restrictions on dumping sewage into the water on the dock.

Bates mentioned the penalty ought to discourage different seafood producers from violating the legislation.

“In case you have a look at the usual cylinders in Bristol Bay, you will discover that there’s some huge cash being made for anglers and processors,” Bates mentioned. “I do not know the way this superb compares to corporations’ revenue strains, however we want it to adjust to allow necessities to guard the surroundings.”