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TEN CHEESE COMPANIES CORRECT 264 ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 12/15/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2000


TEN CHEESE COMPANIES CORRECT
264 ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS


Ten cheese companies have corrected 264 environmental violations under EPA’s Audit Policy, which allows the Agency to reduce or eliminate penalties when companies voluntarily audit, promptly disclose and correct violations. The Agency waived 100 percent of potential gravity-based penalties in return for the companies’ voluntary disclosure of violations and speedy return to compliance. The companies are Dairy Farmers of America, Suprema Specialties Northeast, Inc., Wyeth Nutritionals, Inc., H.P. Hood, Inc., Friendship Dairies, Inc., First District Association, Great Lakes Cheese of New York, Inc., McCadam Cheese Company, Inc., Milnot Company and Saputo Cheese USA Inc. The 264 violations occurred at 32 facilities in 11 states. All of the companies self disclosed violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act which requires manufacturers to report, for inclusion in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), releases of more than 600 designated chemicals to the environment. The TRI (accessible at www.epa.gov/tri) provides for each community vital information about toxic chemicals being used, manufactured, treated, transported, or released into the environment. The 10 cheese companies failed to report the presence of water dissociable nitrate compounds, nitric acid and/or phosphoric acid at their facilities. In addition to EPCRA violations, Saputo Cheese USA Inc. reported and corrected violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at 18 facilities. Before a settlement could be reached under the Audit Policy, Saputo was required to certify that it is currently in compliance with environmental requirements. Under the proposed settlement, Saputo will pay $10,943, which is the amount they saved by delaying compliance with EPCRA and CWA. The settlement is not final until it is approved by the Environmental Appeals Board. Notice of the Saputo settlement will be published in the Federal Register after Dec.17. Settlement of EPCRA violations is not subject to public review and comments. For more information, contact Beth Cavalier, Office of Regulatory Enforcement at (202) 564-3271. Additional information is available at: www.epa.gov/oeca/ore/apolguid.html.

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