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U.S. EPA, Norman Fox and Co. Settle Case for $29,707
Release Date: 4/25/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297
SAN FRANCISCO Norman Fox and Co. has been fined $29,707 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to file timely reports about its releases of toxic chemical compounds, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
The company failed to report its releases of diethanolamine to the environment in 1996, 1997 and 1998 as well as releases of methanol in 1998. These chemicals are processed at Norman Fox's facility in Vernon, Calif.
Diethanolamine is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxicant; methanol is a suspected developmental toxicant.
An EPA inspector discovered the violations during a routine inspection in 1999.
"Companies working with hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to their employees and the surrounding neighborhood to report chemical releases," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Pacific Southwest Regional Cross Media Division Director. "EPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices."
Federal law requires certain facilities with ten or more employees using chemicals over certain amounts to file annual reports of chemical releases with the EPA and the state. The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management. Information is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.
Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior years submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.
More information on the program can be obtained by calling (800) 424-9346. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can also be accessed via the Internet at: www.epa.gov/enviro. Further information about the TRI program can be found at: www.epa.gov/opptinitr/tri.