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Two Arizona companies save $109,500 by reporting their own violations to the EPA
Release Date: 11/17/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248
SAN FRANCISCO -- Two Arizona companies recently saved a collective $109,500 in potential penalties for voluntarily disclosing and quickly correcting their federal Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act violations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In return for the prompt disclosure and correction, the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest office dropped penalties ranging from $5,000 to $104,500 to businesses in Phoenix and Buckeye, Ariz.
"This is a win for communities, for business, and for the EPA," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "The public now has accurate information about chemicals released in their communities, and because these companies quickly reported and corrected their reporting violations, they avoided penalties and are now in compliance with the EPA's community right-to-know laws."
Under the EPA's self-disclosure audit policy, the agency may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered, promptly disclosed to the agency and quickly corrected.
Bulk Transportation, based in Buckeye, failed to report nitric acid from 2000 to 2002 and certain glycol ethers, methanol, toluene and xylene for 2002. The company, which distributes and transfers various chemicals, discovered the reporting error during an environmental audit. The potential fine for these violations was $104,500.
Phoenix-based Columbus Chemical Industries, Inc., which produces semi-grade nitric acid and blend, failed to report nitric acid for 2001, and would have faced a $5,000 fine had the company not promptly disclosed and corrected the error with the EPA.
Federal Law requires certain facilities using chemicals over specified amounts to file annual reports to the EPA and the state that estimate the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site or transferred off-site for waste management. The information is then compiled into a national database called the Toxics Release Inventory and made available to the public.
The premise behind the program is that the public has a right to know about toxic chemical releases, and that facilities have a responsibility to inform surrounding communities about their use and release of toxic chemicals.
More information about the audit policy can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html For more information on the Toxics Release Inventory program visit: https://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: https://www.epa.gov/enviro.