Cheshire, Conn. Company Faces Fine for Environmental Reporting Violations
Release Date: 07/14/2011
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – July 14, 2011) – A Cheshire, Conn., company that makes metal parts for the aerospace industry faces a fine of up to $175,739 for charges by EPA that it violated federal clean air and right-to-know laws.
According to an EPA complaint filed last week, Consolidated Industries violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act by failing to file chemical reporting forms for chromium and nickel in 2007 and 2008. These forms are required for the federal Toxics Release Inventory.
According to the complaint, filed July 6, Consolidated also failed to put in place a required Risk Management Plan for hydrofluoric acid stored at the facility, a violation of the federal Clean Air Act. According to the information gathered, the facility processed or stored hydrofluoric acid in amounts above the threshold required for reporting in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The complaint stems from an April 2010 inspection of the facility as well as follow-up letters seeking information.
Failure of a facility to file chemical inventory forms deprives the community of its right to know about potential releases and the presence of chemicals in the neighborhood that could affect the public’s health and the environment. In addition, the forms help ensure the validity of health studies based on the TRI data base and contribute to adequate comprehensive planning by federal, state, and local authorities in cleaning up industrial pollution.
Risk Management Plans required under the Clean Air Act help prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment and can reduce the severity of releases that do occur. Risk Management Plans document a company’s compliance with several important accident prevention and response regulations, including requirements to assess risks posed by the chemical, develop safe operating procedures, train employees in how to manage dangerous chemicals, design and operate a safe facility, and develop a sound emergency response plan. A company that fails to comply with RMP requirements can leave the public and environment at risk from accidental releases.
The complaint proposes a penalty of $91,700 for the four violations of the community right-to-know law and $84,039 for failing to have a risk management plan in place in violation of the Clean Air Act.
The company has since filed the required forms and certified that the facility is in compliance with all other reporting requirements. The facility also has stopped using hydrofluoric acid in concentrations that make it subject to the Risk Management Plan requirement.