Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) will pay $51,050 in penalties after reaching an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to a Wednesday release from the EPA, during a 2016 inspection it was found that NSEDC’s Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP) plant in Nome, violated the company’s seafood processing discharge permit.
The EPA says violations included exceeding the dimension requirements for seafood processing waste residues, failing to complete required record keeping, and not adequately monitoring the processing plant’s waste conveyance system.
Tyler Rhodes, chief operating officer for NSEDC, responded by saying the corporation takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. In an emailed statement, Rhodes says NSEDC has, “fully cooperated with the EPA in this matter which has primarily dealt with record-keeping protocols.”
Ground waste from seafood processors can include entrails, bones, fins, and other unmarketable trimmings. The EPA says strong tides and water currents don’t always disperse the waste coming from the Norton Sound facility, and if this is not managed properly, it can at worst create “dead zones” on the seafloor.
Rhodes says NSEDC is confident it will continue to protect the marine environment and satisfy regulatory requirements going forward.