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U.S. EPA settles with Riverside, San Diego water treatment plants over chemical accident prevention violations

Release Date: 05/28/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404

(LOS ANGELES - 5/28/08) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with water treatment plants in the counties of Riverside and San Diego, Calif., for a total $8,000 for failing to resubmit Risk Management Plans, a violation of the Clean Air Act.

    When properly implemented, Risk Management Plans help prevent chemical releases and minimize their potential impacts at facilities that store large amounts of hazardous substances and flammable chemicals. Facilities are required to update and resubmit their Risk Management Plan at least once every five years, which is used by the EPA to assess chemical risks to surrounding communities and to prepare for emergency responses.

    “Facilities must provide timely and accurate risk management plan information to the EPA,” said Keith Takata, Director of the Pacific Southwest region’s Superfund program. “The plans provide important emergency preparedness and response information and help to ensure that industries are doing their part in preventing chemical accidents.”

    The following facilities recently settled with the EPA using expedited settlement agreements, which offer violators reduced penalties if they are able to quickly bring their facilities into compliance with federal regulations:
    Riverside County: Chuckawalla Valley State Prison Water Treatment Plant, Desert Water Agency Water Reclamation Facility;
    San Diego County: Miramar Water Treatment Plant, Otay Water Treatment Plant.

    Chlorine, an extremely hazardous substance, is used at these facilities. Exposure to chlorine can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

    For information on the Clean Air Act/Risk Management Plan requirements, please visit EPA’s Chemical Emergency Prevention and Preparedness website at: