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EPA SETTLES TOXIC CHEMICAL REPORTING CASE WITH AES HAWAII
Release Date: 5/29/2001
Contact Information: Mike Ardito, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-2328
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a $45,430 settlement last week with AES Hawaii, an electricity-generating facility in Kapolei, Oahu, for failure to accurately file reports on July 1, 1999 for estimating its 1998 releases of three toxic chemicals.
The facility paid this fine for violations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right- to- Know Act. This is the first action in the nation taken against an electric utility under the Toxic Release Inventory program.
ACompanies working with hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to their employees and the surrounding neighborhood to report chemical releases,@ said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA=s Cross Media Division for the Pacific Southwest Region. AEPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices.@
During an inspection of the AES facility at Campbell Industrial Park in May of last year, EPA investigators discovered three chemicals were under-reported for 1998, the first year that electricity- generating facilities were required to report under a program established in 1986. The three chemicals were zinc compounds, chlorine, and sulfuric acid.
Each year the EPA publishes a community right-to-know report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior year=s submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.
AES also over-reported its release of some chemicals for 1998. Due to that fact, the facility reported releasing a total of 1.17 million pounds of chemicals making it the largest emitter in Hawaii that year. The most recent TRI report for the year 1999 dropped AES to eighth place statewide with 82,000 pounds of chemicals released into the environment.
Federal law requires certain facilities with ten or more employees using chemicals over certain amounts to file annual reports of chemical releases with the EPA and the state. The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off- site for waste management. Information is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.
APeople have a right to know about toxic chemicals in their communities,@ said Manzanilla.
More information about the TRI program, including reporting requirements and instructions, can be obtained by calling (800) 535-0202, or at www.epa.gov/tri. The TRI database, containing facility-specific chemical release data, can be accessed at www.epa.gov/enviro.