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Tempe electronics company pays $46,300 for toxic chemical reporting violations

Release Date: 06/05/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a $46,300 settlement with the Rockford Corporation of Tempe, Ariz. for failing to submit toxic chemical reports, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Rockford Corporation, located at 546 South Rockford Drive, failed to submit timely, complete, and correct reports detailing the amounts of lead compounds processed at its facility from 2002 through 2004. Rockford Corporation, which manufactures circuit boards for car radios, self-disclosed their violations, but failed to satisfy EPA’s Audit Policy.

“Facilities that process particularly toxic chemicals, such as lead compounds, must follow reporting rules to ensure area residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards locally,” said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division Director, for the EPA’s 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 community right-to-know laws require facilities processing, manufacturing, or using more than 100 pounds of lead compounds to report releases of this highly toxic chemical on an annual basis to the EPA and the state.

Exposure to lead and lead compounds may result in high blood pressure, digestive problems, and muscle pain; exposure to low levels of lead can severely harm children under the age of six.

Although the Rockford Corporation did not release lead compounds into the environment, it was required to report lead compound processing to the EPA because the facility was over the applicable reporting thresholds from 2002 through 2004. The company failed to timely submit reports to the agency for any of those years.

Under the EPA's Audit Policy, the agency may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered through an audit or management system, discovered independently of government, promptly disclosed to the agency, quickly corrected, and satisfy other audit policy conditions. The policy excludes criminal acts, violations resulting in serious actual harm to public health or the environment, and repeat violations.

Each year, the EPA compiles information submitted the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases; this publicly available Toxics Release Inventory database lists the amounts of reported toxic chemical releases to the environment.


For more information on the TRI program, please visit http://www.epa.gov/tr
The EPA’s TRI program data, as well as other environmental databases, can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/enviro

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