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Johnstown Wire Settles Violations of Chemical Reporting Requirements at Johnstown, Pa. Plant

Release Date: 11/08/2012
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron. donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 8, 2012) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Johnstown Wire Technologies, Inc. (Johnstown Wire) has agreed to pay a $14,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous chemical reporting requirements at its manufacturing facility in Johnstown, Pa.

Johnstown Wire violated two federal laws protecting the public and environment from toxic chemical releases, according to EPA. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as the Superfund law), facilities must immediately report significant releases of hazardous substances to the National Response Center, the national point of contact for reporting oil and hazardous chemical spills. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) also mandates that facilities notify state and local emergency officials of such releases, and provide follow-up reports on response actions and any public health effects.

According to EPA, the company did not immediate notify to federal, state and local emergency response officials after the facility released an estimated 16,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid, in the period between 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. February 8, 2010. EPA alleged that the company knew or should have known of this release by 3:30 a.m., but did not notify the National Response Center until 4:27 p.m., and did not notify the local emergency responders (Cambria County Emergency Response Agency) until 4:45 p.m., an hour and fifteen minutes later. The company failed to notify the Pennsylvania Emergency Response Agency.

The settlement penalty reflects the company’s good faith and cooperation with EPA in resolving this matter. In the settlement, Johnstown Wire did not admit liability for the alleged violations.

For more information on EPA's emergency management programs, visit http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/index.htm