The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached settlements with three Washington state food companies for violations of federal chemical storage laws.
According to EPA, investigators found the companies—Foster Poultry Farms, Shining Ocean, Inc., and Wilcox Farms, Inc.—failed to properly report storage of significant amounts of hazardous chemicals at their facilities to local and state authorities.
“If emergency responders don’t have accurate records on hazardous chemicals in their communities, it can hinder their ability to respond during crises,” said Kelly McFadden, manager of the Pesticides and Toxics Unit in EPA’s Seattle office. “These laws are in place to protect emergency responders and communities when it matters most.”
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, facilities that store quantities of certain hazardous chemicals are required to submit an inventory of each of those chemicals to the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the local fire department, EPA said.
Foster Poultry Farms agreed to pay $112,500 in fines related to chemical storage violations in 2013. Shining Ocean, Inc. will pay a fine of $16,575 for violations as well as spend $87,500 to enhance its ammonia monitoring system. Wilcox Farms, Inc. agreed to a fine of $15,625 and will conduct a Supplemental Environmental Project to convert its diesel-fueled boiler to a propane-fueled boiler at a cost of $96,000 to achieve lower air emissions.
More information can be found on the EPA website.