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EPA settles case against Phoenix company for toxic chemical reporting violations

Release Date: 2/19/2004
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today reached an $8,840 settlement with a Phoenix company for failing to report the amount of toxic chemicals it was processing at its facility, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Desert Sun Fiberglass Systems allegedly failed to submit timely, complete and accurate reports on the amount of styrene processed at its plant from 1998 through 2001. During those years, the company processed more than 100,000 pounds of styrene per year.

The facility processes styrene in connection with its manufacture of hot tubs and storage tanks. Styrene is a suspected carcinogen and is also a suspected toxin to the gastrointestinal, kidney, and respiratory systems, among others.

"Facilities that use, store and release hazardous chemicals owe it to the neighboring community to report their chemical releases and transfers," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Cross Media Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

Federal law requires certain facilities using chemicals over specified amounts to file annual reports of chemical releases with the EPA and the state. The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management. Information is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior year's submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases. For more information on the program, visit http://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro.


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