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EPA settles with Emco Chemical for chemical release reporting violations

Release Date: 09/25/2009
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09-OPA181

(CHICAGO - Sept. 25, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 recently settled with EMCO Chemical Distributors Inc., North Chicago, Ill., on hazardous chemical release reporting violations. The company will pay an $82,661 penalty.

The facility, at 2100 Commonwealth Ave., was cited for failure to promptly report two hazardous chemical releases to the National Response Center. EMCO failed to report a 603-pound release of trichloroethylene in July 2007 and a 5,224-pound release of tert-butyl acetate in August 2007. The company also failed to notify state and local response agencies in a timely manner.

Federal law requires that federal, state and local authorities be notified of a hazardous chemical release. In the event of a fire or emergency, responders need to know what they are dealing with so they can take steps to protect people living or working in the area.

Exposure to trichloroethylene can cause dizziness, unconsciousness, central nervous system depression or death. Long-term exposure may cause liver or kidney injury. Exposure to tert-butyl acetate may cause irritation to the skin, eyes or respiratory tract, and central nervous system depression.

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