North Pacific Seafoods has paid a USD 345,000 (EUR 328,000) penalty for Clean Air Act violations at two of its facilities in Naknek, Alaska, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a press release.
After an investigation, the EPA discovered that the Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based seafood supplier was operating three solid waste incinerators that lacked any emissions control or monitoring systems.
“The company did not notify EPA or the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation of the construction and operation of the incinerators and did not hold a permit to operate them, as required by the Clean Air Act,” the agency said.
North Pacific Seafoods agreed to shut down the three incinerators rather than bring them into compliance with Clean Air Act requirements.
The company also failed to meet waste-management plan requirements, operator training and qualification requirements, and emission testing, recordkeeping and monitoring requirements, the agency said.
Emissions from the incinerators – primarily used to burn paper, cardboard, and wood waste – could expose communities to harmful air pollutants that can cause eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation, reproductive effects, and cancer, according to the EPA.
“We recognize that rural Alaska communities face unique challenges with waste disposal,” EPA Region 10 Enforcement and Compliance Division Director Ed Kowalski said. “But it is important that facilities comply with federal and state environmental regulatory requirements aimed at protecting people and the environment.”
The EPA also found that, between 2017 and 2021, the company failed in many instances to conduct required maintenance or keep records of maintenance on stationary engines used to generate power for the facilities.
The EPA revealed details of North Pacific Seafood’s violations in an August 2022 consent agreement and final order.