News Releases from Region 02
SI Group Will Properly Report Chemicals and Provide Emergency Response Equipment To Rotterdam Junction Fire Department as Part of Settlement with the EPA
(New York, N.Y. – August 1, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a legal settlement with the SI Group, Inc. of Rotterdam Junction, New York that will provide emergency response equipment worth at least $93,275 to the Rotterdam Junction Fire Department. The agreement resolves alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which was designed to help communities protect public health, safety, and the environment from chemical hazards. The SI Group has also agreed to pay a $188,000 penalty for failure to properly submit information about chemicals it releases from its Rotterdam, NY facility.
“Communities have a right to know what pollutants are being released into the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Companies that are required to report chemical releases must make sure that the information they provide is accurate and timely. That was not the case with the SI Group and therefore the EPA took action.”
The EPA requires that facilities that manufacture, process, or use toxic chemicals over certain quantities are required to file annual reports estimating the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management. The EPA compiles this information into a national Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database. Since 1988, this database has been provided to the public annually to help people learn more about the chemicals present in their local environment and gauge environmental trends over time. The inventory contains the most comprehensive information about chemicals released into the environment reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities.
The EPA conducted inspections of the SI Group’s facility after a review of TRI data indicated that there was a gap in the data submitted by the company. These inspections found that the SI Group failed to submit complete and correct reports for naphthalene and 1,2,4 trimethyl benzene for the calendar years 2010, 2011 and 2012. The company also failed to report accurate estimates of other chemicals released into the environment from 2010-2013, including formaldehyde, ethyl benzene and N-butyl alcohol.
Under the legal agreement with the EPA, the SI Group will comply with the requirements of EPCRA. The company has already submitted to the EPA information it had not previously filed as required by EPCRA. The company will also purchase an air bottle filling station and gas meters for the Rotterdam Junction Fire Department, which will improve the ability of the fire department to respond to emergencies. The Rotterdam Junction Fire Department is currently using a system that is over 20 years old and is not able to completely fill its Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus cylinders.
For more information on the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra.