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U.S. EPA and RMC Pacific Materials settle case for $70,790

Release Date: 10/15/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it recently fined RMC Pacific Materials $70,790 for failing to file timely reports estimating its releases of toxic chemical compounds, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

RMC did not report its releases of nickel and chromium to the environment in 1998, 1999 and 2000. These chemicals are processed and otherwise used at the company's cement manufacturing facility in Davenport, Calif. An EPA inspector discovered the violations during a routine investigation, which began in 2001.

Nickel is a suspected carcinogen and may cause respiratory disorders. The toxicity of chromium depends on the form that it takes. Chromium (III) is an essential nutrient that can be toxic in large doses. Inhaled chromium (VI) is a known human carcinogen and causes respiratory disorders.

"Companies working with toxic chemicals have a responsibility to their employees and the surrounding neighborhood to report chemical releases," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's regional Cross Media Division director. "The EPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices."

Federal law requires certain facilities with 10 or more employees using chemicals over certain amounts to file annual reports of chemical releases with the EPA and the state. The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on- site, or transferred off-site for waste management. Information is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior years submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

More information on the program can be obtained by calling (800) 424-9346. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can also be accessed via the Internet at:

Further information about the TRI program can be found at: