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Release Date: 9/13/2000
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, U.S. EPA,(415) 744-1588

     SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that   David R. Hudson and his company, ORMES L.L.C., have agreed to pay $102,856 in penalties for failing to immediately notify federal and state authorities about releases of hazardous substances from its facility in Laveen, Ariz. on July 1, 1998.    
     "Companies working with hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to their employees and the surrounding neighborhood to promptly report chemical releases," said Keith Takata, the EPA's regional Superfund Division director.  "EPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices."  

     The facility's aboveground tanks leaked over 1,000 pounds of nitric oxide and over 100 pounds of hydrochloric acid vapors into the air.  Hudson and ORMES L.L.C failed to immediately notify federal and state authorities required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Hudson and the company also failed to provide hazard information about the chemicals as required by EPCRA.  Over 250 residents sought medical attention following the incident.  

     The Arizona Attorney General's Office, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Gila River Indian Community and Maricopa County worked with the EPA in documenting the violations and negotiating a resolution to the matter.      

     Federal law requires facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals to provide emergency planners and responders with vital information needed to plan for and respond to chemical emergencies in communities.  Immediate notification is essential in order for emergency response teams to evaluate the nature and extent of a hazardous substance release, prevent exposure and minimize consequences.
     Further information about EPCRA, CERCLA and hazardous substance release notification requirements may be obtained by calling the U.S. EPA's toll-free number at 1-800-535-0202.

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