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U.S. EPA settles for $97,900 with SoCal facility over toxic chemical reporting violations
Release Date: 03/21/2007
Contact Information: Maggie Witt, firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 972-3370
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $97,900 settlement with Eastman Chemical Co. after it voluntarily disclosed that it failed to submit toxic chemical reports for its former Lynwood, Calif. facility, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
“Eastman Chemical not only voluntarily disclosed its violations, but also corrected them, bringing the company into compliance with federal law,” said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “By complying with EPA reporting rules, Eastman has now ensured that area residents and emergency response personnel will be informed of possible chemical hazards in the local environment.”
Eastman Chemical failed to submit timely, complete and correct reports to the EPA on the amounts of chemicals released at the facility in 2001, including sec-butyl alcohol, certain glycol ethers, naphthalene, phthalic anhydride and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene. The firm also failed to submit to the agency the amount of cobalt compounds, certain glycol ethers, cumene, naphthalene and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene released in 2002.
Eastman Chemical discovered the reporting violations in October 2004, voluntarily reported the violations to the EPA within 30 days and promptly corrected them. In keeping with the EPA’s policy of encouraging voluntary disclosure, Eastman Chemical’s $195,800 fine was reduced by 50 percent to $97,900.
Federal Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know laws require facilities processing more than 25,000 pounds of toxic chemicals to report releases annually to the EPA and the state. Although Eastman Chemical exceeded this threshold on 10 occasions in 2001 and 2002, it failed to submit reports to the EPA.
Eastman Chemical has since sold the Lynwood facility where it once manufactured print resins. The company has also taken steps to prevent the recurrence of this kind of violation at any of its other facilities.
Every year, the EPA compiles information submitted by companies about toxic chemical releases from the previous year and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory database. This TRI database estimates the amounts of toxic chemicals released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.
For more information on the TRI program, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/tri
The U.S. EPA’s environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: https://www.epa.gov/enviro