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U.S. EPA settles with Bakersfield paint firm for $13,900 over toxic chemical reporting violation

Release Date: 07/30/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(07/30/07) SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled for $13,900 with a Bakersfield, Calif. company for failing to report releases of toxic chemicals, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Ennis Paint, located at 200 2nd Street, manufactures paint used in marking roads and highways.

“Facilities that use toxic chemicals must follow the EPA’s reporting rules so that area residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards in the community,” said Nathan Lau, Communities and Ecosystems Associate Director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We will continue to monitor report submittals to assure compliance with the community’s right to know.”

According to the EPA, Ennis Paint failed to submit a timely, complete, and correct report detailing the amount of methanol released at its facility in 2005. Ennis Paint became aware of this reporting violation when contacted by the EPA regarding the missing report. Ennis Paint corrected the violation within 2 days of its discovery.

Federal community right-to-know laws require facilities processing more than 25,000 pounds of methanol to report releases of this chemical on an annual basis to the EPA and the state. Ennis Paint exceeded this threshold in 2005, and allegedly failed to submit a release report to the EPA.

Short term exposure to methanol may result in blurred vision leading to blindness or permanent motor dysfunction. Long term inhalation or oral exposure may result in dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and blindness in humans.

Each year the EPA compiles the information submitted to it from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory (“TRI”) database for public availability. This TRI database estimates the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

For more information on the TRI program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA’s environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

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