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Dyno Nobel, Inc. to pay $17,000 for Failure to Properly Report Release of Ammonia

Release Date: 09/08/2009
Contact Information: Suzanne Powers, EPA CERCLA Program, (360) 753-9475, powers.suzanne@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

Company will provide $72,000 for ammonia monitoring system and emergency response equipment for Columbia River Fire & Rescue as part of settlement

(St. Helens, Ore. – September 8, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Dyno Nobel, Inc., for its alleged failure to report the release of approximately 448 pounds of ammonia from Dyno Nobel’s Deer Island, Ore. facility in a timely manner. EPA announced the settlement today, which includes $17,000 in penalties and $72,000, to provide emergency response equipment for local firefighters and a new ammonia monitoring system at the facility.

The settlement is related to a release at Dyno Nobel’s ammonia and nitric acid manufacturing facility located at 63149 Columbia Highway, Deer Island, Ore. on September 29, 2008.

In the agreement EPA alleges that Dyno Nobel failed to notify the appropriate emergency response entities until approximately 11 hours after the release occurred. The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act require that releases of hazardous substances such as ammonia that are above a reportable quantity be immediately reported to federal, state and local emergency response entities.

"The health and safety of our communities depends on prompt release reporting," said Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance & Enforcement in Seattle. "Effective emergency response begins with timely notification, which allows local, state and federal responders to take action and reduce risks to public safety and the environment. Ammonia can be extremely dangerous, which is why immediately notifying the appropriate agencies is so important.”

In addition to the penalty payment, Dyno Nobel will perform a Supplemental Environmental Project, providing $56,000 to install an ammonia monitoring system for improved leak detection. Dyno Nobel has also agreed to provide over $16,000 to purchase emergency response equipment for Columbia River Fire & Rescue. This equipment will improve the Department’s capabilities in responding to hazardous materials emergencies in a safe and effective manner.

Ammonia is a colorless gas that can cause severe burns to skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, and with high enough exposure, death.
For information on EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, visit http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/epcra/epcraenfstatreq.html
For more about toxic effects of Anhydrous Ammonia (NIOSH GUIDE): http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0028.html
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