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$60,000 Penalty Proposed for Westport Crab Processing Facility's Violations

Release Date: 10/2/2000
Contact Information: Suzanne Powers
(360) 753(206) 553-9475

October 2, 2000 - - - - - - - - - - - 00-054

Washington Crab Processors is facing over $60,000 in penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to report the quantity of hazardous chemicals including anhydrous ammonia stored at their Westport, Washington facility. Reporting to state and local authorities is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA).

The Administrative Complaint filed against the company, was announced today by Mike Gearheard, Director of EPA’s regional Environmental Cleanup Office in Seattle.

“The people in Westport have a right to know if a business is storing and using potentially dangerous substances,” said Gearheard. “And the state and local emergency responders, must know what is in there for their safety and that of the surrounding neighborhood.”

EPCRA requires facilities like Washington Crab Processors to submit an inventory of substantial quantities of Hazardous Chemicals and Extremely Hazardous Substances to the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local fire department.

EPA’s Regional office sent a notification letter in 1999 to companies who had failed to submit the previous year’s inventories of chemicals. EPA sent inspectors to Washington Crab Processor’s facility after the submission deadline had passed for the 1999 year. The company sent the 1998 and 1999 inventories to the state and local authorities following the inspection.

“It is disappointing to see a company like this, who has operations in communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, neglect their responsibility to inform the emergency response agencies,” said Gearheard. “I am just glad there were no accidents that could have placed people in jeopardy.”
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