Four northwest companies agree to settle EPA chemical emergency planning and release reporting violations

EPA: Law informs and protects communities, first responders before & during chemical emergencies

(Seattle—February 17, 2014) Four northwest companies (2 in Washington, 1 in Oregon, 1 in Idaho) have agreed to follow federal requirements when it comes to reporting the storage, handling, and accidental release of hazardous chemicals. The companies have agreed to correct the violations and pay fines.

Two of the firms (Stack & Dickinson) violated the hazardous chemical release reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The companies failed to report releases of ammonia (over reporting thresholds) at their facilities in a timely way. Two other firms (Apple King & Wind Flow) violated the hazardous chemical inventory reporting requirements of EPCRA. The four companies collectively paid $166,555 in penalties as part of the settlements.

“First responders and communities depend on accurate chemical storage information and quick release reporting when accidents occur,” said Kelly McFadden, manager of the Pesticides and Toxics unit in the EPA Seattle office. “These laws are designed to ensure that responsible emergency preparedness, diligent record-keeping and quick reporting will help minimize health risks if the unthinkable happens.”

EPCRA was passed by Congress in 1986, in response to concerns about environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals. The law’s passage followed the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India, where a Methyl isocyanate release killed or severely injured more than 2000 people.

Here’s a snapshot of each settlement:

Stack Metallurgical Services, Inc. (Portland, OR) (EPCRA 304/CERCLA 103)
On July 29, 2014, Region 10 settled with Stack Metallurgical Services, Inc. for violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). On October 20, 2013 the company released 412 pounds of anhydrous ammonia and failed to immediately notify federal and state authorities. EPCRA Section 304 and CERCLA Section 103 require companies to immediately report releases of hazardous and extremely hazardous substances that exceed the reportable quantity (100 pounds for ammonia). The company agreed to pay a penalty of $17,710.

Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) (EPCRA 304/CERCLA 103)
On December 5, 2014, Region 10 settled with Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc. for violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). On February 15, 2014, the company released 500 pounds of anhydrous ammonia and failed to immediately notify federal and state authorities. EPCRA Section 304 and CERCLA Section 103 require companies to immediately report unregulated releases that exceed the reportable quantity (100 pounds for ammonia). The company agreed to pay a penalty of $20,150.

Apple King, LLC (Yakima, WA) (EPCRA 312)
On January 28, 2015, Region 10 settled with Apple King, LLC for violations of Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) for failing to file its annual Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports for four years for anhydrous ammonia at its facility. EPCRA Section 312 requires companies to file a hazardous chemical inventory report form with the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local Fire Department each year by March 1st. The company agreed to pay a penalty of $65,709.91.

Wind Flow Fertilizer Inc. (Mattawa, WA) (EPCRA 312)
On January 15, 2015, Region 10 settled with Wind Flow Fertilizer, Inc. for violations of Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) for failing to file its annual Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports for two years for aldicarb, paraquat dichloride, and 24 other chemicals at its facility. EPCRA Section 312 requires companies to file hazardous chemical inventory report forms with the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the local Fire Department each year by March 1st. The company agreed to pay a penalty of $62,985.

For more information on the Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.