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PA NEW YORK COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO RELEASING CHLORINE GAS
Release Date: 08/14/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 1998
NEW YORK COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO RELEASING CHLORINE GAS
Surpass Chemical Co. Inc., of Albany, N.Y., pleaded guilty on August 7, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Albany to violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) by releasing chlorine gas. Surpass manufactures and repackages chemicals for use in residential swimming pools. On April 8, 1997, a tank ruptured at Surpass’s facility in Albany and released a cloud of chlorine gas. The gas drifted over properties near the facility and many individuals were taken to local hospitals for treatment. As part of the plea agreement, Surpass will pay a fine of $30,000 for violating the CAA, $30,000 in penalties to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and correct all violations. In addition to the federal settlement, Surpass pleaded guilty to state charges for the illegal discharge of pollutants into a sanitary sewer system and will pay an additional $30,000 penalty to the state of New York. Finally, Surpass will pay $15,000 in reimbursement for emergency response costs. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, OSHA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Albany Fire Department and the Albany Police Department.