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St. Charles County, Mo., Public Water Supply District to Pay $5,696 Civil Penalty for Risk Management Program Violations

Release Date: 09/21/2011
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 21, 2011) - The Public Water Supply District (PWSD) No. 2, of St. Charles County, Mo., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5,696 to the United States for Risk Management Program violations related to its use of chlorine gas as a disinfectant at its drinking water treatment facility in Defiance, Mo.

As part of an administrative civil settlement with EPA Region 7, PWSD No. 2 has also agreed to spend at least $80,000 on a supplemental environmental project to hire a consulting engineering firm to evaluate the use of non-chlorine disinfectants at the Defiance facility. This evaluation is significant because it could identify safer disinfectant alternatives to chlorine gas, which is highly toxic.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., the Agency inspected the Defiance facility in April 2010 and found violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program regulations. Specifically, the inspection noted that PWSD No. 2 had not filed a Risk Management Plan with EPA at the proper, and most rigorous, level required by the regulations; that it had failed to document its process safety information, and failed to conduct a process hazard analysis. Under the federal Clean Air Act, PWSD No. 2 was required to take those actions because its facility’s stores of chlorine gas were above the regulatory threshold amount of 2,500 pounds.

EPA enforces the Risk Management Program regulations of the Clean Air Act with a goal of preventing accidental chemical releases and minimizing the impact of releases or other accidents that may occur.

The establishment of Risk Management Programs and formulation of Risk Management Plans helps companies, industries and municipalities operate responsibly, assists emergency responders by providing vital information necessary to address accidents and other incidents, protects the environment by preventing and minimizing damage from accidental releases, and keeps communities safer.

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Learn more about the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule

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