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Three Connecticut Companies Face Penalties for Hazardous Chemical Violations

Release Date: 10/08/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Oct. 8, 2009) - Three Connecticut companies face monetary penalties for federal Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) violations.

EPA recently issued complaints against the Sousa Corporation (a metal heat treating facility), the Jelliff Corporation (a manufacturer of woven wire products), and Superior Printing Ink Co., Inc. (an ink manufacturer), alleging failure to provide local and state emergency responders with important information about the large amounts of hazardous substances that the companies use at their facilities.

Based on an inspection conducted in May 2008, EPA determined that the Sousa Corporation, of West Hartford, had failed to file with state and local authorities a chemical inventory, also known as a Tier II form, for calendar year 2007 for anhydrous ammonia and quench oil. Anhydrous ammonia is an extremely hazardous chemical that is corrosive to the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract. Additionally, anhydrous ammonia can explode when it comes into contact with strong mineral acids or metals. Quench oil is flammable and an irritant to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Sousa faces a penalty of $13,700 for the one-year violation.

Another inspection in May 2008 revealed that the Jelliff Corporation, of Southport, also had failed to file a Tier II form for calendar year 2007 for fuel oil and anhydrous ammonia. Jelliff faces a penalty of $11,115 for the one-year violation.

In July 2008, EPA conducted an inspection that discovered that Superior Printing Ink Co., Inc., of Hamden, failed to file a Tier II form for three calendar years—2004, 2005 and 2006—for sulfuric acid and a number of hazardous ink components. Sulfuric acid is a hazardous chemical sue to its corrosiveness; even in diluted forms it can cause painful and disfiguring burns to human tissue. Oils used in inks are flammable, harmful if inhaled, and eye, skin and respiratory irritants. Superior faces a penalty of $31,340 for the three violations.

Lack of Tier II information can compromise proper emergency planning and response by the state emergency response commission (SERC), local emergency planning committee (LEPC) and the local fire department. Failure of a facility to file Tier II forms also deprives the community of its right to know about chemicals present in the neighborhood.

These enforcement actions will help ensure that the local community and emergency response personnel are provided with information about dangerous chemicals present in the community.

EPCRA was enacted by Congress in 1986 to provide greater protection of the public from chemical emergencies and dangers through public disclosure by business and industry of the chemicals they store, use, and release. EPCRA was passed in the wake of the 1984 Bhopal, India chemical release disaster, which killed 3,000 people and injured many more, and a toxic release from a West Virginia chemical plant less than a year later.

More information:
EPCRA enforcement in New England (epa.gov/ne/enforcement/epcra/)

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