Chemical Manufacturer to pay $93,900 for EPCRA violations
Per USEPA News Release 19 July 2012
Company Fails to Properly Report Chemical Storage & Useage
A chemical producer faces an EPA fine of $93,900 for failing to report the use and storage of hazardous chemicals at its Fairfield, Conn. facility, in violation of the federal right-to-know law.
According to a recent EPA complaint, the company, 5N Plus, Inc., violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) by failing to report hazardous chemical inventory information, known as Tier II reports, to the fire department, and the local and state emergency responders. The company also failed to report the use and potential release of lead and selenium to the state and federal Toxic Release Inventory, a national database of toxic chemical use available to the public.
During a June 2011 inspection of the facility, EPA determined that 5N Plus had failed to follow the reporting requirements by failing to include gallium trichloride (an extremely hazardous substance) in its inventory of hazardous chemicals for 2010, and by failing to submit Tier II reports for reporting years 2008 and 2009 for chlorine gas, lead and gallium trichloride. Following further review, EPA also determined that the company had failed to submit accurate Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports for lead in 2008 and 2009, and for selenium in 2010.
After the two inspections, a release of chlorine gas at the facility resulted in area-wide evacuations and worker exposure to chlorine gas. Subsequent to the release, the company moved its gallium trichloride manufacture to another facility.
The proposed penalty includes $40,500 for failure to file Tier II forms for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and $53,400 for failure to file TRI forms for reporting years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
How do you prevent that from happening to you?
The first step in preventing unwanted enforcement action and penalties is to fully understand what chemicals are on-site, what physical states that they are present in, how much you have and how they are used and stored at your facility. The next critical step is understanding what laws and regulations are applicable to these hazardous chemicals. Many of the USEPA regulations are triggered by the type and amount of chemical used and/or stored at a facility.
It is also almost impossible to prepare emergency response plans and procedures without understanding what is present at your facility and how it might impact human health and the environment if it were accidently released.
Did you Know?
Safetec can help you get the answers you need. Ask us about our chemical inventory services, our chemical compliance management and other products and services that can assist you in achieving compliance not only with EPCRA, but also with many OSHA and EPA regulations.