A Washington processing company that owns a Kodiak-based vessel was sentenced in federal court to pay $50,000 in fines after the vessel illegally discharged raw sewage into Chiniak Bay and St. Paul Harbor in Kodiak.
In addition, the primary operator of the F/V Pacific Producer was sentenced to a $10,000 fine. Both the operator and the company will serve five years probation.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Anchorage, East West Seafoods LLC was sentenced for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the Clean Water Act, and the Refuse Act, by intentionally discharging oily bilge water and raw sewage.
East West owns the F/V Pacific Producer. The primary owner of the processing company and operator of the vessel is 78-year-old Christos Tsabouris of Kodiak.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says the incidents of illegal discharging took place in March 2013 between Long Island and Spruce Island, and near Ouizinkie. Other incidents took place in January 2014 in St. Paul Harbor.
The first incident occurred on March 15, 2013 when the Pacific Producer was travelling from Kodiak and grounded near Ouizinki Narrows. While the vessel was within three miles of shore, the defendants unlawfully discharged approximately 1,000 gallons of raw sewage into Chiniak Bay between Long Island and Spruce Island.
The second incident occurred on March 29 that same year, while the Pacific Producer was departing from the ferry dock in Ouizinkie, as the defendants knowingly discharged a harmful quantity of oil into the water while within three miles of shore.
Other incidents included dumping waste into St. Paul Harbor in Kodiak.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement, the Coast Guard boarded the F/V Pacific Producer on Jan. 27, 2014 and witnessed raw sewage flowing from piping onto the open weather deck. There was a vent pipe that discharged raw sewage from the Pacific Producer into St. Paul Harbor.
The conviction also includes an assortment of other charges such as pumping without a permit, and record keeping and reporting charges.
Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said intentional discharges of raw sewage, within 3 miles of the coastline, are unaccpetable. He said incidents of such discharges will be investigated and prosecuted.