For Immediate Release - December 27, 2013

Ocean Crest Seafood Penalized $6,610 for Violations at Fish Processing Plant Along Gloucester Harbor

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) penalized Ocean Crest Seafood, Inc. $6,610 for violations at its fish-processing plant in Gloucester. During inspections on June 6 and 12, 2013 at the 88 Commercial Street plant, MassDEP determined the facility was allowing wash water from the operational area to be discharged into Gloucester Harbor.

A facility that seeks to discharge industrial wastewater to surface water must first obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, to ensure adequate water pollution control practices are in place. The facility does not have the required NPDES permit for this activity.  

In addition, Ocean Crest Seafood was also collecting wastewater from fish-processing activities and storing it in an underground tank and then shipping that discharge by truck for disposal elsewhere. Using a holding tank to accumulate on-site wastewater in this fashion to be disposed of off-site is a violation when it is feasible to discharge to a sewer system. The facility has an existing sewer line to the Gloucester publicly owned wastewater treatment facility.

"The facility was improperly discharging wash water into the harbor, and in a different section of the plant, collecting and diverting wastewater improperly," said Eric Worrall, director of MassDEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. "Water pollution prevention violations like these are avoidable by following applicable regulations, which is a basic responsibility of any commercial operation and certainly one whose continued presence depends on the health of our coastal areas."     

Ocean Crest Seafood has agreed to cease any discharge of wash water to Gloucester Harbor. The company will also seek approval from the City of Gloucester wastewater treatment facility to discharge all its industrial wastewater via the sewer system, and once approval is received, to install the required plumbing work within 60 days of receipt of that approval. Ocean Crest Seafood will pay $3,305 of the penalty, with the remaining $3,305 suspended pending compliance with the terms of the order.   

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.