A cold storage company in the Northwest failed to report they had over 500 pounds of ammonia and settled with EPA for over $60,000.
EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires companies storing Extremely Hazardous Substances above the Threshold Planning Quantity at a facility to submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form to the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the State Emergency Response Commission, and the local fire department. Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms support emergency planning efforts at the state and local levels, provide local governments and first responders with current information concerning potential chemical hazards present in their communities, and help them to prepare for accidental releases.
The facility stored more than 500 pounds of ammonia which is above the threshold quantity that triggers the reporting requirement. The company did not timely submit Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms for calendar years 2019-2021.
“Enforcement actions like this one send a strong message to these companies that deal with dangerous chemicals – they have an obligation to keep the public, and local emergency responders, informed about the chemicals they deal with in order to protect the communities where they are located,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “So many communities near industrial facilities are vulnerable to and bear a disproportionate impact from releases and day-to-day operations. This is certainly the case with the communities near this facility.”
Reporting is the beginning of defensible compliance. Reporting requirements such as this are covered day 1 of our PSM/RMP course. If you are in need of compliance training or consulting, see this link.