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U.S. EPA settles with Southern California waste recovery firm for toxic chemical reporting violations

Release Date: 9/21/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a $16,940 settlement with a Los Angeles company for failing to submit toxic chemical reports, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Pacific Resource Recovery Services, located at 3150 East Pico Blvd., failed to submit timely, complete, and correct reports detailing the amounts of methanol released at its facility. EPA inspectors discovered the violations during a routine inspection in April 2005.

"Facilities that use toxic chemicals such as methanol must follow our reporting rules so that area residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards in the local environment," said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division Director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

Federal community right-to-know laws require facilities processing more than 25,000 lbs. of methanol to report releases of the chemical on an annual basis with EPA and the state. Pacific Resource Recovery Services exceeded this threshold in 2000 and 2001, but failed to submit methanol reports to EPA for either of those years.

The facility processes methanol in connection with its waste recovery and recycling operations. Exposure to methanol may affect the nervous system, resulting in nausea, visual disturbances, abdominal or muscular pain, dizziness, and weakness.

Each year EPA compiles the information submitted to it from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory database for public availability. This TRI database estimates the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

For more information on the TRI program, visit: The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: