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EPA Proposes $200,000 in Penalties for Danbury, Conn. and two Massachusetts Companies for Clean Air Act Violations
Release Date: 10/15/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it is proposing penalties against two Massachusetts companies and one Connecticut city for violating the federal Clean Air Act.
The EPA issued complaints against the city of Danbury, Conn., the New England Confectionary Co. in Cambridge and American Seafoods International in New Bedford.
Each of the three violated a section of the Clean Air Act that requires programs and regulations to prevent accidental hazardous chemical releases and minimize the consequences of accidental releases that do occur. Specifically, the act requires owners and operators of facilities that use or store certain hazardous materials over a certain amount amounts to submit a risk management plan (RMP) that includes a hazard assessment, a prevention program and an emergency response program.
The city of Danbury, New England Confectionary and American Seafoods International were required to submit RMPs to EPA by June 21, 1999.
The city of Danbury was required to file a "Program 3" RMP – the most comprehensive required – because it uses chlorine at a wastewater treatment plant, the West Lake Filter Plant. Over 9,000 people are potentially at risk of exposure to chlorine if a worst-case release of chlorine occurred at this facility.
New England Confectionary was required to file a "Program 3" RMP because it uses ammonia at its Cambridge Street facility. A moderate release of ammonia from the company's plant has the potential to put more than 10,000 people at risk.
Like New England Confectionary, American Seafoods was required to file a "Program 3" RMP because it uses ammonia at its Herman Melville Boulevard plant, a release of which could have moderate impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
EPA is proposing a penalty of $41,800 for the city of Danbury, $89,870 for New England Confectionary and $76,000 for American Seafood International.
"In these cases, there was no harm, but the potential was there," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These violations may seem mundane because they involved not filing the correct paperwork, but preventing hazardous substances from getting into the environment starts with having a to prevent it and a plan in place in case there is a release."
For more information about the Clean Air Act and its enforcement program, visit the EPA Web site: https://www.epa.gov/region1/compliance/enfair.html