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Water: Seafood

Alaskan Seafood Processing - Notice of Data Availability

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Seafood processing waste discharged into town harbor. Sitka, Alaska 2003. Photo by EPA Region 10 dive team.

Seafood waste piles up on the seafloor, smothering bottom-dwelling aquatic life. Ketchikan, Alaska, 2004. Photo by Germano & Associates, Inc.

EPA has published information it gathered recently from seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the Seafood Processing Effluent Guidelines at 40 CFR Part 408. The Agency is providing preliminary results of analyses of the updated data and indications of how these results might be reflected in revised regulations which it may promulgate.  The public comment period ended on March 7, 2014.

Notice of Data Availability History

In 1980, the Alaska seafood processing industry sent two petitions to EPA. The first petition asked the Agency to suspend the applicability of effluent limitations for non-remote subcategories set in the ELGs, and the second petition requested a new rulemaking. The effluent limitations at issue were based upon screening technology. In response to the first petition, EPA temporarily suspended the stricter limits for Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg and instead allowed processors in those areas to use the limits for remote locations based upon grinding. On January 9, 1981, EPA proposed revisions to some of the regulations, while denying most of the industry’s petition. The subcategories included in the proposal were Subparts D, E, F, G, I, J, P, Q, T, AC and AE. EPA also continued the suspension of the ELGs until it issued a final response to the petition. EPA has yet to issue a final response.

In 2010, EPA began the process leading to a final decision to amend the regulations. The Agency sent questionnaires to owners and operators of seafood processing facilities in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Petersburg, Dutch Harbor, Ketchikan and the Kenai Peninsula. Supporting analyses were conducted to update the 1981 proposal.

Additional Information

For additional information regarding Seafood Processing Effluent Guidelines, please contact Lindsay Guzzo, guzzo.lindsay@epa.gov or 206-553-0268, or Meghan Hessenauer, hessenauer.meghan@epa.gov or 202-566-1040.

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