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EPA SETTLES WITH TRI-STATE PLANT FOOD, INC. FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE EMERGENCY PLANNING AND COMMUNITY RIGHT-TO-KNOW ACT AND THE COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT
Release Date: 08/06/2002
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Press Relations, 404-562-8421
|The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Tri-State Plant Food, Inc., in Dothan, Alabama for alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund). The Consent Agreement and Final Order requires Tri-State Plant Food, Inc. to pay a civil penalty of $30,813.
The settlement agreement alleged the company failed to submit a completed emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form for hazardous chemicals present at the facility for calendar years 1997, 1998, and 1999 to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the appropriate fire department by March 1 of the following year as required. The company has since corrected these violations. The Agreement also alleges that the company failed to immediately notify the National Response Center, as required by CERCLA, of a release of anhydrous ammonia on April 11, 2000 in an amount equal to or greater than its Reportable Quantity.
Prior to the EPCRA enforcement action, EPA had taken enforcement action for violations of the Clean Air Act. In accordance with the Clean Air Act, a company is required to develop a Risk Management Program when one or more processes contains a regulated chemical which exceeds a threshold level. EPA had discovered violations of these rules from an inspection of the facility. On February 12, 2001, EPA issued a Compliance Order to Tri-State Plant Food, Inc. to correct the violations. Through a follow up inspection, EPA has confirmed that the company has complied with the Order.
EPCRA requires certain facilities to immediately notify the LEPC and SERC when there has been a spill or release of a hazardous substance in an amount equal to or greater than the reportable quantity. CERCLA, in part, requires certain facilities to immediately notify the NRC when there has been a spill or release of a hazardous substance in an amount equal to or greater than the reportable quantity. Immediate notification enables federal, state, and local officials to determine whether they need to render emergency assistance. Failure to do so precludes these officials from being able to make a timely response if needed.