South Bend Products fined for water quality violations

The Washington Department of Ecology issued a notice that South Bend Products will pay $16,000 to resolve violations of its water quality permit as part of a settlement agreement with the department.

According to a release, under the seafood company’s water quality permit, South Bend Products can discharge wastewater to the Willapa River within limits and must follow specific requirements.

During a routine review of the company’s records, Ecology states that inspectors found irregularities in some of the company’s reporting numbers. 

These mistakes led the records to misrepresent how well the company was following its water quality permit requirements and protecting the environment. 

These violations led Ecology to initially issue the company a $33,000 penalty.

As part of the settlement agreement, South Bend Products agreed to retrain its employees on recordkeeping. The training will focus on how employees can avoid common mistakes when they fill out discharge monitoring reports.

“Protecting this body of water is crucial since the Willapa River contains protected wetlands and is close to open marine water. The area is popular for recreation and is home to various fish and shorebirds.”

Ecology says that too much wastewater discharge 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.”