Ecology and Westport seafood processer settle penalty for water quality violations
Westport, LLC will pay $92,250 to the Washington Department of Ecology under an agreement to settle an appeal of a larger penalty for 49 water quality violations.
DOE announced that they fined the company $123,000 in April 2022 for violations between April 2020 and November 2021.
According to officials, the company released wastewater containing fecal coliform, grease, oils, and other solids above the amounts allowed in its permit. The company reportedly also did not monitor several wastewater discharges as required by the permit.
In the settlement, the company agreed to the reduced penalty.
Ecology has agreed to suspend $30,750, if the facility remains in compliance with conditions established in its water quality permit for one year. If permit violations occur during that time, Pacific Seafood will be required to pay the suspended portion of the penalty.
The processing facility discharges wastewater into Half Moon Bay, within Grays Harbor, which contains wetlands and open marine water. The area is popular for recreation, and is home to numerous species of fish, crab, and shorebirds. Excess effluent from seafood processing can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality. Maintaining water quality standards and eliminating pollution is critical to protecting the health of this important ecosystem.
Water quality penalty payments to Ecology are placed into the state’s Coastal Protection Fund, which provides grants to public agencies and Tribes for water quality restoration projects.