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Release Date: 10/8/1998
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543 William Smith (215) 814-2690

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has cited two Pennsylvania companies for failing to report hazardous materials to state and local emergency response agencies.

In separate administrative complaints filed under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), EPA has proposed penalties of $21,750 against Haas Corp., owner of  a chemical manufacturing plant in Philadelphia; and $69,000 against Monomer-Polymer & Deduce Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer of diagnostic equipment in Feastersville, Pa.

EPCRA was enacted to protect the public health and environment from accidental releases of  hazardous and toxic chemicals.  The law requires companies that store over a threshold quantity of  hazardous chemicals file material safety data sheets (MSDS) -- or
a list of chemicals requiring MSDS -- with the state and local emergency response agency and the local fire department.

MSDS are significant because they describe the health risks associated with the chemical, and safety precautions for handling or accidental exposure.  EPCRA also requires companies to annually update state and local emergency response agencies, and the local fire department, on the maximum and average amount of hazardous chemicals present at the facility.  

The Has facility, located at 2440 North American Street in Philadelphia, manufactures industrial and specialty chemicals such as cleaners, coolants, lubricants, water-based coatings, rust preventatives, and cutting and grinding solutions.  According to EPA, Has failed to submit the required MSDS and notification reports to state and local emergency response agencies, or the local fire department, for 1994, 1995 and 1996.

EPA alleges that during those years, the company stored more than 10,000 pounds of the following hazardous chemicals: hydrotreated petroleum oil, hydrotreated naphthenic oil, sodium hydroxide, aromatic petroleum distillate, catonic polyamine, furfuryl alcohol, tall oil fatty acids, potassium hydroxide, petroleum distillate, and solvent refined paraffin oil.
The Monomer-Polymer Plant, located at 1675 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville, manufactures diagnostic substances and specialty chemicals.  EPA alleges that the company failed to submit required reports to state and local emergency response agencies for the following extremely hazardous chemicals: allylamine (950 lbs.), methacrylonitrile (750 lbs.), methyl vinyl ketone (4,000 lbs.), vinyl acetate (2,000 lbs.), and acrylonitrile (550 lbs.).  These alleged violations occurred in 1994 through and 1997.

The companies may request hearings to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalties.  It is important to note, that the complaints involve alleged reporting violations and not a unlawful releases of these chemicals.