United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Water  EPA- 821-F-13-003
                                               October  2013
      Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Guidelines
                       Notice of Data Availability
The purpose of this notice is to make available
for public review and comment data and
information gathered recently by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from
seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other
publicly available sources. These data relate to
the applicability of and discharge requirements
for the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the
Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing
effluent limitations guidelines (40 CFR Part

This notice provides preliminary results of
analyses of the data and information. It also
provides preliminary indications of how these
results may be reflected in EPA's final response
to petitions submitted in 1980 by certain
members of the Alaskan seafood processing
industry, and in amended effluent limitations
guidelines (ELGs) applicable to certain Alaskan
seafood processing discharges which EPA is
considering whether to promulgate in final form.

EPA will accept comments until January 6,
2014. It is important to take advantage of this
opportunity to comment on this notice so that
EPA hears  from a broad range of stakeholders.
EPA expects interested parties to comment now
to inform Agency decision-making.

In the 1970s, EPA issued ELGs establishing
limits for seafood processing facilities in Alaska
based on location. The ELGs were different for
processors  in non-remote and remote areas.

In "non-remote" locations, EPA based ELGs on
a process that screens the solids from the waste
stream. The only discharge is liquid wastewater.
                          In "remote" locations, EPA based the ELGs on
                          grinding the processing solids to reduce their
                          size. Once ground, the wastewater, containing
                          the ground solids, is discharged to near shore

                          In 1980, the Alaska seafood processing industry
                          sent a petition to EPA asking it to reconsider the
                          non-remote limits set in the ELGs. In response
                          to the 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.

                          In 1981, EPA issued a proposed response and
                          amendments to the ELGs denying most of the
                          industry's petition and requesting comment on
                          additional locations that may have similar
                          characteristics to the non-remote locations. EPA
                          also continued the suspension of the  ELGs until
                          a final response to the petition is issued. EPA
                          has yet to take final action on its proposal.

                          In 2010, EPA began the process leading to a
                          final decision on a response to the petition and
                          amendments to the existing regulation. As a
                          result, EPA recently gathered new data and
                          information and performed supporting analyses
                          to update the 1981 proposal.

                          Why is EPA Concerned About These
                          Discharges Today?
                          Discharging seafood processing wastewater
                          containing solids into near shore waters is an
                          environmental and human health concern. Some
                          impacts include:

                          + Degraded water quality
                          + Floating solids and scum
                          + Large piles of persistent waste on seafloor
                          + Gas eruptions from waste piles

+  Negative effects on tourism, local residents
    and recreation
+  Attraction of nuisance species

How Will Today's Notice Affect Seafood
Processing Discharges?
Today's notice does not impose or change any
requirements. It simply provides new
information and data and preliminary indications
of how these results may be reflected in EPA's
final response to the industry petitions and in
amended ELGs applicable to certain Alaskan
seafood processing discharges.

In particular, today's notice indicates that EPA
may reinstate the originally promulgated ELGs
for all non-remote locations based on screening.
EPA is also soliciting comments on possibly
extending the definition of non-remote to
additional locations, including Dutch Harbor,
Sitka, the Kenai Peninsula, and possibly others
that have similar characteristics such as Naknek.

The newly collected data demonstrate that these
technologies are  feasible, available, and
affordable in all of these locations. In addition,
the data demonstrate that requirements based on
screening will halt the formation and persistence
of underwater piles of seafood waste that have
occurred over the past 30 years and will have a
positive long-term impact on the affected
communities in these areas.
For More Information
You can view the Federal Register Notice at
food. In addition, the notice and supporting
documentation is available at
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID:

You may also contact Lindsay Guzzo at (206)
553-0268 or Guzzo.Lindsav@epa.gov or Donald
Anderson at (202) 566-1021 or
Anderson. Donaldf@epa. gov .