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Two Phoenix companies ordered to develop risk management plan to protect first responders, public / Reddy Ice Corporation and Granite Capital, LLC fined $75,000 after chemical release

Release Date: 11/06/2008
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Reddy Ice Corporation and Granite Capital LLC $75,000 for failing to follow emergency response regulations.

EPA inspectors discovered the violations following an accidental release of 14,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at 2030 Mountain View Road, Phoenix, AZ, Reddy Ice Corporation and Granite Capital, LLC’s jointly owned ice manufacturing and cold storage facility. The facility is being fined for failing to immediately report the accidental release to local authorities, failing to report the storage of an extremely hazardous substance, and failing to prepare, submit and implement a Risk Management Plan (RMP), violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act and the Clean Air Act, respectively.

“Companies have a corporate and legal responsibility to comply with all laws and regulations governing the reporting of their chemical inventories and any releases they may have,” said Keith Takata, the EPA’s Superfund director for the Pacific Southwest region. “When companies fail to submit chemical inventory information and report chemical releases, the health of the public and local responders is put at risk, and we will take action against any company that fails to comply with these laws.”

Employees from a neighboring electronics facility were hospitalized, streets were closed, and residences evacuated from their homes as a result of the release. The EPA worked closely with the Phoenix Fire Department to complete their investigation of the facility which also failed to comply with local regulations.

Under the Clean Air Act, facilities, like Reddy Ice Corporation and Granite Capital, LLC must prepare, submit and implement an RMP, including steps for normal and emergency shut-down operations for on-site gaseous materials over a certain threshold.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act requires all facilities using hazardous substances to report the amount of chemicals (or a chemical) on site, and notify state and local authorities immediately following an accidental release.

Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia causes immediate burning of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. In severe cases, it can result in blindness, lung damage, or death.
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