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Kalama chemical maker fined nearly $57,000 for ammonia release

Release Date: 05/23/2006
Contact Information: Suzanne Powers, (360) 753-9475, Stephanie Mairs, (206) 553-7359, Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203,

(Kalama, WA, - May 23, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Noveon Kalama Inc., (Noveon) to pay $56,995 for releasing more than 500 pounds of ammonia from their Kalama, Washington facility on May 10, 2005. In addition to the penalty, Noveon will also perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) which will provide $112,990 to pay for emergency response equipment for Cowlitz County and the City of Kalama, WA.

Noveon did not notify local and state agencies until approximately four hours after the ammonia release was discovered. No known injuries occurred as result of the release.
Noveon’s Kalama facility is located at 1296 Third Street.

The ammonia release and the failure to notify appropriate agencies are violations of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

"These laws help communities prepare for and respond to chemical accidents," said Mike Bussell, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance & Enforcement in Seattle. "They also help reduce the likelihood and severity of accidental chemical releases that could harm the public and the environment."

The ammonia release was discovered at approximately 4:30 a.m. on May 10, 2005. Noveon personnel stopped the release at approximately 5:00 a.m. The release probably started sometime after 11:30 p.m. on May 9, 2005.

Approximately four hours after discovering the release, Noveon’s Safety and Environmental Manager called the National Response Center (NRC) and the Oregon State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to report the release.

Noveon is a manufacturer of specialty organic chemicals. Noveon’s products are used in a variety of industries including wood products, flavor, fragrance, food, beverage, paint, pharmaceutical and photography.

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