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Cheshire, Connecticut Company to Pay Fine for Clean Air and Chemical Reporting Violations
Release Date: 11/16/2011
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027
(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 16, 2011) A Cheshire, Conn., company that makes metal parts for the aerospace industry has agreed to pay a penalty of $105,240 to settle claims by EPA that the company violated federal Clean Air Act requirements meant to prevent chemical releases as well as federal community right-to-know laws.
According to EPA, Consolidated Industries Inc. violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act by failing to file chemical reporting forms for chromium and nickel in 2007 and 2008. These forms are required for the federal Toxics Release Inventory.
EPA also alleged that the company failed to put in place a required Risk Management Plan for hydrofluoric acid stored at the facility, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. An accidental release of hydrofluoric acid could have severe consequences, due to its high toxicity and ability to travel significant distances downwind as a dense vapor. The complaint stemmed from an April 2010 inspection of the facility as well as follow-up letters seeking additional information.
Failure of a facility to file chemical inventory forms deprives the community of its right to know about potential releases and the presence of chemicals in the neighborhood that could affect the public’s health and the environment. In addition, the forms help ensure the validity of health studies based on the TRI data base and contribute to adequate comprehensive planning by federal, state, and local authorities in cleaning up industrial pollution.
Risk Management Plans required under the Clean Air Act help prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment and can reduce the severity of releases that do occur. Risk Management Plans document a company’s compliance with several important accident prevention and response regulations, including requirements to assess risks posed by the chemical, develop safe operating procedures, train employees in how to manage dangerous chemicals, design and operate a safe facility, and develop a sound emergency response plan. A company that fails to comply with RMP requirements can leave the public and environment at risk from accidental releases.
The company cooperated with EPA throughout its investigation, and has since filed the required chemical reporting forms and certified that it is in compliance with community right-to-know reporting requirements. The facility also has reported to EPA that it stopped using hydrofluoric acid in concentrations that make it subject to the Risk Management Plan requirement.
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