News Releases from Region 10
EPA settles with Gly-Tek, Inc. (Idaho) for delayed sulfuric acid spill reporting
EPA: prompt spill reporting can prevent injuries, save lives
(Seattle, Washington - January 7, 2015) Gly-Tek, Inc., a food additive formulator in Twin Falls, Idaho, has agreed to settle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violations of both the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund cleanup law, in November of 2014. The violations occurred following a 24,700 pound release of a 50% sulfuric acid solution at their facility. The settlement includes a $25,000 penalty.
EPA documents associated with the case allege that Gly-Tek, Inc., took nearly two hours to report the spill to the Local Emergency Response Committee (LEPC), and neglected to call both the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and National Response Center (NRC). Companies that release more than 1000 pounds of sulfuric acid are required by law to notify all three authorities within 15 minutes.
"Notification is critical in protecting facility workers, first responders and the community," said Kelly McFadden, Manager of EPA's Pesticides and Toxics unit in Seattle. "If your facility suffers a spill or serious accident involving reportable quantities of chemicals, by law, local, state and federal authorities must be immediately given important information about the size and scope of the spill. Prompt emergency response can save lives and emergency response is triggered by notification."
Gly-Tek, Inc., manufactures polyglycerol esters for the food industry. Polyglycerol esters are non-ionic surfactants that are used in commercial food preparation in many countries, including the U.S. In addition to stabilizing emulsions, foams, and dispersions, polyglycerol esters can act as aerating agents, dough strengtheners, rheology modifiers, crystal modifiers, anti-spattering agents, beverage clouding agents, humectants, solubilizers, or fat substitutes.
For more about EPA's role in Emergency Planning and ensuring the Community's Right-to-Know, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra
For more about EPA's Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) enforcement program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/remedy/sfremedy/regenfor.htm