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San Diego company agrees to pay U.S. EPA $13,090 to resolve reporting violation

Release Date: 2/2/2005
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

SAN FRANCISCO H. J. Heinz agreed today to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $13,090 for allegedly failing to report when the amount of ammonia used by its Delimex facility in San Diego, Calif. exceeded the reporting threshold under federal law.

The company allegedly failed to file a report disclosing release of anhydrous ammonia to the EPA's annual Toxics Release Inventory during reporting year 2001, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The company uses anhydrous ammonia in a refrigerant system. Exposure to ammonia may cause severe burns or throat irritation and in extreme cases, blindness or lung damage can occur.

"The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires accurate and timely reporting, and enforcing this regulation is a priority for the EPA," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA's Cross Media Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "It is extremely critical that all facilities that use chemicals follow our release reporting rules to protect the health and safety of area residents, emergency response personnel, and the environment."

The EPA inspected Delimex, makers of frozen Mexican food snacks, while investigating the San Diego area. The company has since addressed the violation by submitting the required form.

Federal law requires that facilities using toxic chemicals over specified amounts file annual reports of their chemical releases with the EPA and the state. Information from these reports is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

For more information about the program visit: The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can be accessed at: