The Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Pacific Seafood – Westport, LLC $123,000 for water quality violations in Grays Harbor. From April 2020 through November 2021, the company’s seafood processing facility released wastewater containing fecal coliform, grease, oils, and other solids above the amounts allowed in its permit. The company also did not monitor several wastewater discharges as required by the permit.
Pacific Seafood’s processing facility discharges wastewater into Half Moon Bay in Grays Harbor through an outfall it shares with the City of Westport Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant. Under its permit, the company is allowed to discharge wastewater within certain limitations, and must follow monitoring and reporting requirements. The penalty covers 49 violations.
Half Moon Bay, within Grays Harbor, 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.
Pacific Seafood – Westport, LLC has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.