WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Dec. 26 that StarKist Co. and its subsidiary, Starkist Samoa Co., have agreed to pay $6.5 million after allegations of violating stormwater rules of the Clean Water Act at a tuna processing plant in American Samoa.
“This revised agreement commits Starkist to addressing stormwater pollution, which will provide important protection for Pago Pago Harbor,” said acting regional administrator Alexis Strauss with the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Working with our valued partners at American Samoa EPA, we will monitor the company’s progress toward full compliance with this very significant settlement.”
According to allegations, StarKist’s plant leaked pollutants into stormwater that fed into Pago Pago Harbor.
Of the $6.5 million monetary penalty, $200,000 will address previous violations. $2.6 million will go to American Samoa and $3.9 million will go to the United States. StarKist will also provide $88,000 in emergency equipment to American Samoa for cleanup purposes.
“Pago Pago Harbor is our greatest natural resource,” said American Samoa EPA director Ameko Pato. “We are firmly committed to working with EPA and Starkist to ensure that this local treasure is protected for generations to come.”