BANDON, Ore.--()--Bandon Pacific, a subsidiary of Pacific Seafood Group and a small retailer and seafood processor facility in Bandon, Ore., has been issued a proposed fine from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Bandon Pacific voluntarily contacted DEQ in December 2008 in a desire to ensure it was operating and reporting correctly under its discharge permit for its small processing and retail operation in Bandon. DEQ has now informed the company the state is proposing a $208,544 fine.
“I’ve worked in this industry and community for 40 years and we’ve always cared for the environment and followed the law. I am very upset by this unfair accusation and excessive fine after voluntarily seeking help from the state. This has to be a mistake.”
According to DEQ, Bandon Pacific has been in violation of failing to monitor its waste water and report results, discharging waste and failing to pass waste water through a mesh screen. Bandon Pacific is appealing the alleged violations and proposed fine.
“For the last several years, we have operated with the understanding that DEQ had authorized our reporting and monitoring activity given our very low processing levels,” said Graydon Stinnett, a Bandon Pacific employee and the local operator of the facility. “All of the fresh water used to wash fish was screened before entering the Coquille River. We use nothing but fresh water in the process of cleaning and cutting the fish we sell to local residents, visitors and restaurants. After contacting DEQ, we connected to the city sewer system and are no longer discharging into the river.”
“This isn’t a large processing facility – we’re just a small shop with a couple of processing tables where, for the last several years, we have cleaned and hand cut about 25-30 fish per day using fresh water. We’ve always properly disposed of our waste and screened all of the wash-water that leaves our facility,” said Stinnett. “I’ve worked in this industry and community for 40 years and we’ve always cared for the environment and followed the law. I am very upset by this unfair accusation and excessive fine after voluntarily seeking help from the state. This has to be a mistake.”
“As a long time Oregon company, Pacific Seafood and our subsidiary companies always strive to protect the environment and work to cooperate with state officials. We’ve done that in Bandon and are now being unfairly characterized,” said Craig Urness, a company spokesman. “We realize DEQ has a job to do, but on this one, so far they have it wrong.”
About Bandon Pacific, Inc.
Bandon Pacific, a subsidiary of Pacific Seafood Group, is a wholesale fish processing facility, supplying fresh fish for its retail store and a small amount of local restaurants. Bandon Pacific employs four full time and two seasonal employees. The company was purchased by Pacific Seafood Group in 1999.
About Pacific Seafood Group
Pacific Seafood Group, is a West Coast seafood processing company that launched in 1941 as a small, fresh seafood retail operation in Portland, Ore. Over the years, the family-owned business has expanded to become the best vertically integrated seafood processing and distribution company in the U.S., meeting customers’ needs and a growing market. It is a member of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association and is active in promoting a healthy and sustainable seafood industry by supporting fisheries awarded Marine Stewardship Council eco-labels. Pacific Seafood Group is under the leadership of Frank Dulcich, the founder’s namesake and grandson, who will be chairman of the National Fisheries Institute in 2011. The Company has recently been recognized by the Portland Business Journal as one of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies. For more information visit: www.pacseafood.com.