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Eight Pacific Northwest facilities penalized for risk management violations

Release Date: 02/09/2006
Contact Information: Contact: Rogelio Consolacion, 206-553-2585, Tony Brown, 206-553-1203,

(Pacific Northwest - Feb. 9, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued penalties to eight facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska for federal Clean Air Act Risk Management Program violations. The penalties, ranging from $2,000 and $7,275, were levied against facilities that handle toxic and flammable chemicals.

The penalties were assessed under Section 112(r) of the federal Clean Air Act. Section 112(r) requires the development of Risk Management Plans (RMPs) for all public and private facilities that manufacture, process, use, store or otherwise handle flammable gases and toxic chemicals such as chlorine, propane, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde. Facility RMPs are used by local emergency responders to protect the public from accidental releases of flammable gases and/or toxic chemicals.

"RMPs are required to be fully updated and resubmitted a minimum of every five years. These plans contain emergency response information that may be used by first responders in the case of a release," said Kelly Huynh, EPA's RMP Coordinator.

The Risk Management Program requires an emergency response strategy, evaluation of a worst case and probable case chemical release, operator training, review of the hazards associated with using toxic or flammable substances, operating procedures, and equipment maintenance.

Of the eight penalties issued, half were due to late refiling of Risk Management Plans (RMPs) and half were for inadequate Risk Management Programs. All of these penalties were conducted under EPA's Expedited Settlement Agreement process. The EPA has the option to use the Expedited Settlement Agreement process for easily correctable violations.

There are 477 facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska that need to meet the RMP and program requirements.

Some examples of covered facilities include:

    1) Wastewater/Water Treatment Plants
    2) Cold Storage Facilities
    3) Refineries
    4) Chemical distributors
The following facilities entered into settlement agreements with EPA between November 2005 and February 2006, and have corrected their violations:
    Trident Seafoods (Sand Point, Akutan, and St. Paul, AK)
    Primeland Co-op, Ferdinand, ID
    Primeland Co-op, Craigmont, ID
    Headworks, City of Astoria, OR
    Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), City of Astoria, OR
    Wilco Farmers, Stayton, OR
    Chemtrade Performance Chemicals-Kalama Plant, Kalama, WA
    WWTP, City of Spokane, WA

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