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Vermont Ski Resort Fined for Failure to Report its Inventory of Hazardous Chemicals

Release Date: 06/17/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston—June 17, 2008) Sugarbush Ski Resort of Warren, Vermont has agreed to a settlement of $18,980 for violating the federal Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). This settlement follows earlier enforcement against Sugarbush for violations of the Clean Water Act and federal hazardous waste regulations as a result of a federal facility inspection, conducted at the resort because it is located on federally owned National Forest land.

An inspection by EPA in February 2007 revealed that Sugarbush violated Section 312 of EPCRA by failing to file Tier II forms in 2005 identifying propane, diesel fuel, gasoline, sodium hypochlorite, aluminum sulfate and other hazardous chemicals were present at the facility. Lack of Tier II information can compromise proper emergency planning and response, leaving first responders and the public unaware of potential risks to their community.

Under EPCRA, reporting of chemical inventory information is required under federal law each year on March 1. Facilities storing hazardous chemicals are required to file a chemical inventory with several entities: the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local fire department. This is required to provide planners and first responders with information about the hazardous chemicals present in a community so that they can effectively prepare for and respond to chemical accidents. Facilities are subject to these requirements if they store hazardous substances on site in amounts equal to or greater than 10,000 pounds at any one time during a reporting year, although there are lower thresholds for extremely hazardous substances.

During the same inspection, EPA inspectors also discovered hazardous waste and Clean Water Act (CWA) violations. An EPA notice of violation was issued under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for the hazardous waste violations. The company also agreed to an expedited settlement under the CWA, paying a $3,000 penalty for violations of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

EPA helps companies meet their reporting obligations by offering compliance assistance in every state and has done so since 1991.

More information:
- EPCRA enforcement in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/epcra/index.html)
- Laws relating to Chemical Preparedness and Prevention: (http://www.epa.gov/ceppo)
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