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EPA waives fine after Arizona company discloses chemical release reporting violations

Release Date: 9/29/2004
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently waived a $48,674 fine against the Arizona Public Service Company of Joseph City, Ariz. after the company voluntarily reported that it had failed to submit previous reports and corrected its chemical release reporting violations.

The company failed to submit timely, complete and accurate Toxic Chemical Release Inventory reporting forms covering the release of zinc compounds for 1998, 1999, and 2000 at its Cholla Power Plant to the EPA and the state of Arizona, as required by the EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

"We are pleased with the swift and responsible action taken by the Arizona Public Service Company, as it is the responsibility of all companies to do the required reporting,"said Enrique Manzanilla, Director of the Cross Media Division for the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Region. "It is extremely critical that all facilities that use chemicals follow our release reporting rules to protect the health and safety of area residents, emergency response personnel, and the environment."

After voluntarily auditing its records, the company discovered and promptly disclosed to the EPA its failure to submit required reports. The company then corrected these violations by submitting the required reports within 60 days of the discovery.

During 1998, 1999, and 2000 the company manufactured zinc compounds at over the threshold amount of 25,000 pounds per chemical per year.

The violations warranted a $48,674 penalty, however, under the agency's audit policy, the EPA may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered, promptly disclosed to the agency and quickly corrected.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires annual reports to the EPA and the state from facilities that use or manufacture certain toxic chemicals over a specified amount. The reports provide estimates of the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on site, or transferred off-site to another facility.

More information about the Audit Policy can be found at: