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Two Puget Sound-area metalworking facilities fail to disclose use of chemicals

Release Date: 09/13/2012
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov; Graham Kirn, EPA Toxics Release Inventory Program, 206-553-1603, kirn.graham@epa.gov

(Seattle—Sept. 13, 2012) Two metalworking facilities in South Seattle and Tukwila, Washington failed to report toxic chemical use under federal community right-to-know laws, according to two separate settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the settlements, North Star Casteel Products, Inc. and Jorgensen Forge Corporation have submitted missing reports outlining chemical use at their facilities and will pay fines.

“People have a right to know what chemicals are being used in their communities,” said Kim Ogle, Manager of the Inspection and Enforcement Management Unit in EPA’s Seattle office. “Companies have a responsibility to release this information and make sure people are informed about potential chemical hazards in their areas.”

Under the federal Toxics Release Inventory Program, companies that use certain toxic chemicals are required to report annually about releases, transfers and waste management of those chemicals at their facilities. The TRI program is under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which aims to inform communities and citizens of chemical hazards in their neighborhoods.

North Star Casteel Products, Inc.

North Star Casteel Products is a foundry that manufactures metal castings for various industries, including transportation, mining and power generation. An EPA inspection in April 2011 determined that for four years between 2006 and 2010, the company failed to report on time for its use and off-site disposal of chromium and manganese compounds. During that period, the company annually processed more than 25,000 pounds of the manganese and chromium compounds for use in its castings.

Manganese can affect the respiratory and central nervous systems. Chromium can affect the skin and eyes.

Under the TRI program, companies that process chromium and manganese compounds in amounts over 25,000 pounds per year must submit reports. The company has filed the missing reports and agreed to pay a penalty of $87,000.

Jorgensen Forge Corporation

Jorgensen Forge Corporation is a metal forging facility that primarily serves aircraft, aerospace, oil, gas, marine and defense markets. EPA requested information from the company about its Toxics Release Inventory reporting and found that the company failed to report on time for use and off-site disposal of chromium, lead, manganese and nickel in 2010.

These chemicals pose numerous health risks, including impacts to the skin, eyes, and central nervous and respiratory systems. Lead is a persistent, toxic chemical that can accumulate in our bodies and is especially harmful to young children.

The company processed more than 25,000 pounds each of manganese, chromium and nickel, and more than 100 pounds of lead in 2010. Under the TRI program, companies that process manganese, chromium or nickel in amounts over 25,000 pounds per year or process lead in amounts over 100 pounds per year must submit reports. Jorgensen Forge processed these chemicals as components of metal alloys used in the company’s products.

The company has filed the missing reports and agreed to pay a penalty of $73,600.

For more information on the Toxics Release Inventory, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/tri/