Failing to Provide Community Disclosure Information Yields Penalties for 11 Companies
Eleven companies based in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will pay EPA a penalty for failing to submit chemical inventory reports on chemicals present at their facilities, under terms of settlements recently reached. March 1 is the next deadline for submitting chemical inventory reports.
The settlements are between EPA and the following companies. Each company was assessed a fine of $2,000. The companies are:
Bass Plating Co., Bloomfield, Conn.
Fusco Brothers, Inc., Windsor, Conn.
O & W Heat Treat, Inc., South Windsor, Conn.
Dixfield Discount Fuel Co., Peru, Maine
Lisbon Fuel Co., Lisbon Falls, Maine
Murray Oil Co., Turner, Maine
TI Logistics, Inc., Worcester, Mass.
Geib Refining Corp., Warwick, R.I.
National Chain Co., Warwick, R.I.
Technodic, Inc., Providence, R.I.
M. Weisman Roofing Co., Warwick, R.I.
EPA reached expedited settlements with all 11 entities after inspections discovered failure to report as required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPCRA Section 312 requires the companies to file hazardous chemical inventory reports (“Tier II” reports) that provide information on the nature, amount, location, and hazards of chemicals stored at the facility. The cases involved several different types of chemicals and businesses, including, among others, metal plating and treating operations that use acids and cyanides, and fuel companies that have large amounts of oil on site.
“Chemical reporting is very important for the public-at-large, and it is essential for the safety of first responders if there is an accident at one of these facilities,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Regular reporting of hazardous chemicals helps first responders to protect themselves, and protect the public, if there is a fire or other dangerous event at a facility. Officials also use this information for disaster planning -- for example when simulating a response to a hurricane.”
Right-to-Know provisions help to increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on the presence of hazardous chemicals in their communities. Among the key provisions of EPCRA, there are requirements for annual submission of chemical inventory data (known as Tier II reports) by facilities to state and local planning officials for incorporation into ongoing emergency planning. EPCRA also requires facilities to quantify and submit annual releases of certain chemicals for incorporation into a national database known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
Under EPCRA, reporting of chemical inventory information is required under federal law each year. The next reporting deadline for Tier II reports is March 1. Facilities storing hazardous chemicals are required to file a chemical inventory with several entities: the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local fire department. This is required to provide planners and first responders with information about the hazardous chemicals present in a community so that they can effectively prepare for and respond to chemical accidents. Facilities are subject to these requirements if they store hazardous substances on site in amounts equal to or greater than 10,000 pounds at any one time during a reporting year, although there are lower thresholds for extremely hazardous substances.
EPA helps companies meet their reporting obligations by offering compliance assistance in the every state. In anticipation of the upcoming March 1 reporting deadline, EPA already has held 13 compliance assistance conferences in several New England states, reaching approximately 1,300 people.
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