StarKist Samoa has confirmed that it will shut down operations for five weeks beginning next month.
The shutdown, according to a press statement from StarKist released today, is from Saturday, October 21 until Sunday, November 26.
“The StarKist Samoa plant will temporarily shut down manufacturing for facility upgrades and to install new equipment, which will increase efficiencies at the plant, ” said the statement.
“We recognize this shut down is a disruption not only to our workers, but also to the community and our business partners and we appreciate their understanding during this time.”
The StarKist Samoa plant is expected to re-open on Monday, November 27.
The StarKist Samoa management team informer the governor about the temporary closure.
Said the statement, ” We appreciate the Governor and his team for their ongoing support.”
As KHJ News reported this morning workers of the cannery said they started hearing about the shutdown last month and have been nervous about how long it will last.
While the press statement doesn’t explain, StarKist in a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a series of upgrades to reduce pollution, improve safety measures, and comply with important federal environmental laws at their plant in Satala.
Under the agreement, StarKist will pay a $6.3 million penalty and purchase $88,000 worth of emergency response equipment to the American Samoa Fire Department for use in responding to chemical releases,
This is in connection with a series of upgrades to reduce pollution, improve safety measures, and comply with important federal environmental laws at their tuna processing facility in American Samoa.
The settlement stems from several violations including the spilling of unpermitted wastewater into the inner Pago Pago Harbor by the cannery in 2014.
At that time, EPA began investigating the facility after monitoring reports submitted by StarKist revealed wastewater pollutant levels that consistently exceeded permitted levels.
EPA’s investigations revealed that StarKist had changed the composition of the facility’s discharged wastewater such that its existing wastewater treatment system was inadequate.