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Unified Western Grocers, Inc., settles with U.S. EPA over toxic chemical reporting

Release Date: 05/22/2007
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 760-9161,

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached an $8,900 settlement with Los Angeles, Calif.-based Unified Western Grocers, Inc., over its alleged failure to submit a timely annual report about its toxic chemical release of nitric acid, a violation of a federal community right-to-know law.

Unified Western Grocers, Inc. is a retailer-owned grocery cooperative that supplies independent retailers throughout the Western United States.

Unified Western Grocers operates a dairy located at 3625 11th Avenue in Los Angeles. In 2005, Unified Western Grocers reportedly used nitric acid - a highly corrosive and toxic acid - in quantities exceeding the established annual threshold of 10,000 pounds. Unified Western Grocers failed to submit the required documentation for this chemical use, violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

“Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act reports provide communities with valuable information about the chemicals being released into their environment,” said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “This information is critical to protecting public health and the environment.”

Congress enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act in 1986 to help local communities protect public health, safety and the environment from chemical hazards. The law requires companies using any of 650 listed toxic chemicals over certain thresholds to report their annual chemical releases to the EPA. The information is then compiled into a national database that is accessible to local emergency planning personnel and the general public.

For more information on the EPA’s Toxic Chemical Release Inventory program, please visit:

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