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USEPA permit approval needed for expansion plans at Starkist

Starkist plant

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoa News learned that StarKist Co., chief executive officer and president, Andrew Choe visited the territory briefly, arriving last week Thursday and departing Tuesday this week; and while here, he met with Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and other local officials.

When asked about the meeting between the governor and Choe, the governor's executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira told Samoa News yesterday morning that Choe was seeking support on the permit application to the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “particularly on the operational refuse discharge which was dumped in the ocean but has been discontinued.”

“StarKist's expansion plans is predicated on the approval of this permit by USEPA. So it is significant for us because if the permit is not granted, StarKist’s expansion plans might not materialize,” Iulogologo explained, “but of greater concern is the potential  impact on its current operation.”

He said the governor has “urged the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency to work to make sure that a favorable ruling is issued on Starkist's operation.”

StarKist Co., corporate spokesperson Michelle Faist is on vacation as of yesterday morning, however, responding to Samoa News inquiries, a StarKist corporate spokesperson  could only confirm that Choe was on island and had participated in meetings during his stay.