Starkist facilities in American Samoa. (Photo: Starkist)
StarKist Co. reaches settlement with DOJ, EPA
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
StarKist Co. has announced that it will enter into a consent decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged violations related to wastewater treatment and related compliance matters at the company's plant in American Samoa.
It was identified that certain systems did not meet today's environmental compliance regulations and StarKist worked collaboratively with the EPA to make changes to the facility and its compliance measures.
In accordance with the consent decree, StarKist has agreed, among other things, to install interim measures equipment, and intends to pay USD 6.3 million in penalties for alleged waste disposal violations at StarKist Samoa, in addition to investing significant capital in funding to address plant and monitoring upgrades.
"StarKist is committed to American Samoa and its people by being a socially responsible company and doing the right thing," said Andrew Choe, President & CEO, StarKist Co.
"Our company is committed to investing in the technology and equipment needed to address compliance issues at the StarKist Samoa plant. While this process is long-term in nature, we will continue to work closely with the EPA as we focus on these improvements until we meet and exceed compliance and environmental performance laws and standards," he added.
In addition to facility improvements, StarKist offered a training session in American Samoa with the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC) in July, and has met with the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security (AS DHS), the Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office (TMCO), Local Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team, and other first responders.
These forums have allowed StarKist to identify emergency response equipment needs within the territory. As a result, StarKist will purchase 12 protective suits and 12 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units to support American Samoa's emergency response efforts.
This project was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action. United States v. StarKist Co. and StarKist Samoa Co. taken on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.