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EPA Files $137,500 Complaint Against Nautilus Foods for Illegal Waste Handling

Release Date: 12/19/2002
Contact Information: Bub Loiselle
(206) 553-6901

December 19, 2002

The Northwest regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency today filed a complaint against Nautilus Foods of Valdez and its owner, Thomas Waterer, requesting $137,500 in penalties for the company’s chronic mishandling of seafood processing wastes. (A copy of the complaint is available at: )

According to their Clean Water Act permits, seafood processors must limit to one acre the area of the ocean floor covered by fish wastes and meet other waste disposal limitations. Some of the violations alleged by the EPA include:
  • Failure to route all seafood waste through the waste-handling system;
  • Accumulation of seafood waste on the sea floor exceeding the one-acre limit by nearly 50 percent;
  • Failure to properly operate and maintain waste-handling systems used for permit compliance;
  • Discharges of residue in violation of the Alaska Water Quality Standard;
  • Failure to prevent discharges from a broken outfall pipe that continues to discharge into Valdez Harbor; and
  • Failure to monitor or report discharges for most of the last four years.
“Seafood processing is a critical element of Alaska’s economy,” said Bub Loiselle, manager of EPA’s Water Permits Compliance Unit. “But it shouldn’t be done at the expense of the environment that the seafood industry depends upon. Strong enforcement actions help level the playing field by forcing non-compliant operators to invest in treatment technologies and practices that their competitors have adopted in order to obey the law and protect their environment.

“It’s our hope that the owner of this facility now understands his obligations and will start meeting them. ”