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Two Fall River Seafood Companies Pay Fines for Chemical Reporting Violations
Release Date: 09/22/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – Sept. 22, 2008) – Two seafood processing and freezing companies based in Fall River, Mass. will pay fines to settle chemical reporting violations under federal Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) violations.
In separate but similar actions, EPA alleged that both Raw Seafoods, Inc. and Arctic Cold Storage Corp. failed to provide local and state emergency responders with important information about the hazardous substances that the companies use at their facilities.
In the settlement with EPA, Raw Seafoods will pay $11,115 for failing to file information in 2006 with federal, state and local authorities regarding sulfuric acid and nitrogen stored at its facility. Arctic Cold Storage will pay $13,065 for failure to submit information in 2004, 2005 and 2006 regarding quantities of ammonia, sulfuric acid and lead stored at its facility.
Sulfuric acid, lead, ammonia and nitrogen are hazardous substances that require special storage and handling. The use of these chemicals must be reported under federal laws so that emergency responders are able to take necessary safety precautions to protect themselves and the public in the event of an emergency situation at the facility.
Failure to submit the required reporting, referred to as “Tier II” under EPCRA, can compromise proper emergency planning and response by the state emergency response commission, local emergency planning committee and the local fire department. Failure of a Facility to file Tier II forms also deprives the community of its right to know about chemicals present in the neighborhood.
EPCRA was enacted by Congress in 1986 to provide greater protection of the public from chemical emergencies and dangers through public disclosure by business and industry of the chemicals they store, use, and release. EPCRA was passed in the wake of the 1984 Bhopal, India chemical release disaster, which killed 3,000 people and injured many more, and a toxic release from a West Virginia chemical plant less than a year later.
More information: EPCRA enforcement in New England by EPA (epa.gov/ne/enforcement/epcra/)