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EPA Settles with Warren, Mich., for Hazardous Chemical Release; Includes Fine and Safety Upgrade

Release Date: 02/28/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: Bill Omohundro, 312-353-8254
Mick Hans, 312-353-5050

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA017

CHICAGO (Feb. 28, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 recently settled an administrative case involving hazardous chemical release reporting violations with the city of Warren, Mich. The city will pay an $8,766 fine and spend $27,900 on safety upgrades that will reduce threats to public health.

EPA alleged that on June 25, 2003, at 7:15 p.m., Warren’s wastewater treatment plant, at 32360 Warkop Ave., released 336 pounds of gaseous chlorine but failed to promptly notify the National Response Center and the Michigan Emergency Response Commission. This volume is 33 times the 10-pound threshold requiring official notification.

In settling the case, the city agreed to pay a civil penalty of $8,766 and to revise certain emergency reporting procedures. In addition, the wastewater treatment plant will spend about $27,900 to install new electronic automatic valve closure systems for their chlorine cylinders used for water treatment.

Chlorine reacts explosively with many common chemicals. Exposure at high concentrations causes headaches, nausea, choking and burns to the respiratory system and eyes.