Third Employee of Westward Seafoods Sentenced
for Clean Air Act Violations

A former powerhouse operator for Westward Seafoods at Dutch Harbor has been sentenced to three years probation and to pay a $750 fine for tampering with the pollution control monitoring equipment required under the Clean Water Act.

Chief US District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline sentenced Bryan Beigh on Nov. 25 in Anchorage. Earlier this month, Beistline sentenced Westward’s former assistant chief engineer, James Hampton, to 70 days in prison, and former powerhouse supervisor Raul Morales to 45 days in prison. Both were also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and serve a one-year term of supervision upon release from prison.

Westward, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese company Maruha-Nichiro Holdings, Inc., processes some 250 million pounds of seafood annually. The facility generates its own electricity with three diesel-fuel generators contained in its powerhouse building. Air emissions from these generators are vented through a single combined smokestack, and these emissions are regulated by a Title V Permit under the Clean Air Act.

Under terms of the permit, Westward was required to install and use pollution control equipment to decrease the amount of nitrogen dioxide being emitted from the powerhouse smokestack. To meet this requirement, Westward installed a Combustion Air Saturation System for each generator unit which uses water to saturate the air and reduce emissions from each generator. The permit also required Westward to operate each generator with dedicated fuel and water flow meter and to record fuel and water consumption.

Beginning in 2009 and continuing until August 2011, Westward failed to operate the CASS pollution control equipment.

In 2010, Westward entered into a civil consent decree with the federal government and agreed to pay a civil penalty following prior allegations that the company had, among other things, violated emissions limits under the Clean Water Act.

The case was invited by the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation division.