CHICAGO (Oct. 25, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has filed an administrative complaint against Caraustar Industries Inc. for alleged hazardous chemical reporting violations at the company's paper processing plant at 5500 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio. EPA proposed a $73,689 penalty.
The EPA complaint falls under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which requires companies handling hazardous chemicals to keep detailed records and share them with state and local emergency responders.
Under the right-to-know law, any hazardous chemicals kept on-site in excess of 10,000 pounds must be listed on a hazardous chemical inventory form and submitted to state and local authorities. The EPA complaint alleges Caraustar failed to submit the inventory form to the Ohio Emergency Response Commission, the Hamilton County Emergency Planning Committee and the Cincinnati Fire Department even though 40,000 gallons or 330,000 pounds of #6 fuel oil was stored on company property. That amount is 33 times the minimum reporting threshold listed in the right-to-know law. The fuel is considered hazardous because it is flammable.
Caraustar Industries has 30 days from receipt of the complaint to file an answer and request a hearing. The company may also ask EPA for an informal conference to discuss resolving the allegations.