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Tractor Supply Company settles with EPA for failure to properly report propane storage at five Washington retail locations

Release Date: 06/18/2014
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(Seattle–June 17, 2014) Tractor Supply Company (dba Del’s Feed and Farm Supply Stores) has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. According to the settlement, the company failed to properly report propane storage at five facilities in Washington and has agreed to pay a $134,400 penalty to resolve those violations.

Tractor Supply Company, which operates 18 Del’s Feed and Farm Supply Stores in Washington, failed to report stored propane over established thresholds at stores in Monroe, Shelton, Olympia, Chehalis, and Yelm. According to EPA officials, once the company was made aware of the violations, steps were quickly taken to comply with requirements.

"Protecting communities from fire and explosion risks means companies must provide timely and accurate storage records,” said Kelly McFadden, manager of EPA’s Pesticides & Toxics unit in Seattle. "EPA is committed to reducing the likelihood of accidental chemical releases and creating a level playing field for industry by enforcing the law.”

Propane is a hydrocarbon and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, or LPG. It is produced from both natural gas processing and crude-oil refining. Propane is highly flammable, but otherwise nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, facilities that store threshold 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. In this case, Tractor Supply Company failed to report that it was storing more than 10,000 lbs. of propane at each facility. Emergency responders rely on this information for their safety and to help protect nearby residents during an emergency, such as a fire or an earthquake. Citizens can also access the information to find out what chemicals are being stored and used in their neighborhoods.

For information on EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, visit http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/epcra/epcraenfstatreq.html

EPA Region 10: www.epa.gov/region10

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