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North Pacific Seafoods Fined $205,000 for Ammonia Dumping

By | March 12, 2014

A Kodiak seafood processor has been fined over $200,000 after pleading guilty to illegally dumping 40 pounds of ammonia into the city’s sewer system in 2011. The announcement came Tuesday from U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler in Anchorage.

North Pacific Seafoods chief engineer Bill Long is scheduled to be arraigned in state court on Friday on a charge of violating the permit regulated by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

The count North Pacific Seafoods pled guilty to was a violation of the federal Clean Water Act. The company is based in Seattle and is a subsidiary of Japanese seafood giant Marubeni.

The 40-pounds of ammonia, which is used in cooling and ice making in canneries, broke the secondary treatment at the city’s sewer treatment plant, causing a violation of the city’s Clean Water Act permit.

The dumping was detected Nov. 29, 2011 and was traced by the Kodiak Public Works Department to North Pacific’s APS plant on the Kodiak Waterfront. Long initially said the ammonia dump did not come from his plant, but later admitted to the discharge.

A joint investigation by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation determined that the facility had been discharging ammonia into St. Paul Harbor before and after the sewer incident.

The city of Kodiak will receive $55,000 of $205,000 fine to be used for hazardous wast response training. The terms of probation ordered by Judge Ralph Beistline also require that North Pacific Seafoods provide training for its employees at all five facilities in Alaska regarding proper handling of hazardous wastes and specifically ammonia.

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