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EPA Settles with Olympic Fruit Company for Federal Risk Management Violations

Release Date: 11/29/2012
Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-6689, skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov

(Seattle, Washington—November 29, 2012) Olympic Fruit Company failed to meet risk management requirements under the Clean Air Act, according a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a penalty of $33,964 and upgrade its safety equipment. Olympic Fruit Company is based in Union Gap, Washington.

Under the Clean Air Act, a facility that handles large amounts of chemicals is required to develop a risk management program to assess the safety hazards associated with dangerous chemicals. The program must include accident prevention and an emergency response plan to deal with an accidental chemical release to protect the lives of workers, responders and nearby residents.

Olympic Fruit Company uses more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, one of the most potentially dangerous chemicals used in refrigeration and agriculture. Ammonia gas can severely burn the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, and with high enough exposure, can cause death.

In addition to the penalty, the company will spend at least $40,659 to install new ammonia detection sensors, safety shut-off valves, and an emergency pressure control system. The company will also purchase a hand-held ammonia detector for the East Valley Fire Department that will reduce the risks of exposure to ammonia for emergency responders. These safety systems will allow a more immediate and effective response in the event of an accidental release of ammonia, and reduce the risk of a release of ammonia into the environment.

For more information on the Risk Management Program, visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/airpage.nsf/enforcement/rmp