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U.S. EPA FINES DREYERS FOR AMMONIA RELEASE; COMPANY TO PAY $66,500
Release Date: 6/5/1997
Contact Information: Randy Wittorp, US EPA, (415) 744-1589
(San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has fined Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. $66,500 for violation of Toxic Release Inventory reporting requirements and for failure to immediately notify government authorities of an ammonia release from a Dreyer’s plant in City of Commerce, California.
The public has the right to know what chemicals are being used by the businesses in their community," said Keith Takata, U.S. EPA’s Superfund Division director. They also must be notified of hazardous material releases. When a business fails to quickly provide critical information to authorities, a community’s ability to respond during an emergency may suffer."
On March 21, 1993 Dreyer’s accidentally released into the air approximately 4000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia -- a refrigerant used by the food industry. The reportable amount of ammonia is 100 pounds and requires immediate notification to the California Office of Emergency Services and the National Response Center. During the course of the investigation, Dreyer’s disclosed that the company had failed to submit timely, complete, and accurate Toxic Release reporting forms for ammonia emissions at facilities in City of Commerce and Union City, Calif.
Notification of chemical releases and access to chemical inventories is required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Penalties for violations are based on the circumstances, gravity of the release, economic savings to a company resulting from the violations, and other matters as justice requires.
Immediate notification of pollutant releases is essential for emergency response teams to evaluate the nature and extent of a hazardous release, and to make informed decisions to protect the community and the environment.