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U.S. EPA fines SoCal company for failing to notify response agencies after Torrance, Carson ammonia releases
Release Date: 09/22/2009
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213 244 1815, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release: September 22, 2009
Contact: Francisco Arcaute
(213) 244-1815, Cell (213) 798-1404
U.S. EPA fines SoCal company for failing to notify response agencies
after Torrance, Carson ammonia releases
Linde LLC also agrees to $415,550 equipment upgrade
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Linde LLC $81,400 for ammonia air releases that occurred in 2007 and 2008 at its Torrance and Carson, Calif., carbon dioxide production plants.
Linde LLC did not immediately notify the National Response Center and the State Emergency Response Commission after five separate ammonia releases occurred between December 2007 through May 2008 -- with reportable quantities ranging from 250 to 665 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. The reportable quantity of anhydrous ammonia is 100 lbs.
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act require companies to report releases to the proper authorities to ensure appropriate responses to spills and releases.
“Without accurate information on accidental releases, emergency responders cannot adequately protect our communities,” said Keith Takata, the EPA’s Superfund Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "When accidental releases occur, firms such as Linde LLC, must immediately notify local, state and federal authorities."
In addition to the fine, the company will also spend approximately $415,550 in equipment upgrades as part of an environmental project that will prevent future ammonia releases into the environment.
Exposure to ammonia can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Lung damage and death may occur after exposure to very high concentrations of ammonia.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act requires immediate notification of the release of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance, such as ammonia, in order to allow emergency response teams an opportunity to evaluate the nature and extent of the release, prevent exposure to the hazardous substance, and minimize consequences to public health and the environment.
For more information on the CERCLA, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act requires that facilities report on-site extremely hazardous substances to ensure emergency responders take proper precautions when an accidental or intentional release occurs.
For more information on the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, please visit the EPA’s Web site at: https://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/epcra/index.htm