11 Oct 2019

US watchdog reaches deal with American Samoa's Starkist

3:41 pm on 11 October 2019

The US Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with fish canner StarKist to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its facility in American Samoa.

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StarKist workers. Photo: RNZI / Monica Miller

StarKist is leasing the Samoa Tuna Processors facility to refrigerate tuna.

Ensuring facilities reduced the risk from hazardous substances was critical, EPA's Pacific Southwest administrator Mike Stoker said.

An 2016 EPA inspection found Starkist violated the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause by failing to safely manage anhydrous ammonia, a toxic chemical highly corrosive to skin, eyes and lungs.

At the time of the inspections, conditions revealed the ammonia refrigeration system was not designed to meet safety standards.

The settlement requires Starkist to take action to make the facility safe and prevent releases of anhydrous ammonia.

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