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Franklin Facility to Pay $31,000 For Environmental Violations

Release Date: 12/02/2002
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Dean Northeast, LLC has agreed to pay a $31,080 penalty for allegedly filing a late and inadequate plan to prevent accidental releases of ammonia from its dairy processing plant in Franklin.

"Ammonia, like many chemicals, can be very hazardous if it's accidentally released," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "Companies need to make sure they're adequately prepared for handling this hazardous material."

Dean uses anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant at the processing plant. Airborne ammonia is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes and may be fatal if inhaled. An accidental release of ammonia could threaten the surrounding area. The federal Clean Air Act requires that companies with large amounts of hazardous chemicals on site must file a risk management plan (RMP) with EPA. The threshold amount for ammonia is 10,000 pounds.

EPA's complaint alleges that Dean did not file a RMP until October 2001, a year later than their deadline. EPA's complaint also alleges that Dean failed to develop and implement all the Risk Management Program elements required at the facility.