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Tacoma-based Pacific Functional Fluids fined over $21,000 for failing to report chemicals

Release Date: 12/07/2010
Contact Information: Suzanne Powers, EPA Office of Environmental Cleanup, (360) 753-9475, powers.suzanne@epa.gov; Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

Company also agrees to install railcar spill prevention system worth $31,000

(Seattle—Dec. 7, 2010) Pacific Functional Fluids LLC., will pay over $21,000 to settle hazardous chemical reporting violations at its facility in Tacoma, Washington, according to a consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The company prepares, stores and distributes petroleum and other products at its facility located at 2244 Port of Tacoma Road. According to EPA, the company stored large amounts of hazardous substances without properly reporting them to the Tacoma Fire Department, Pierce County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the State Emergency Response Commission.
 
“Local emergency planners and responders need this information to do their jobs. It’s critical for them in order to protect the community and themselves when a dangerous chemical release occurs,” said Wally Moon, Prevention and Preparedness Team Leader from the EPA Emergency Response Unit.
 
The facility stores 10,000 pounds or more each of ethylene glycol, potassium hydroxide and acetic acid, which is the threshold for required reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. These chemicals can pose a serious health hazard when released, most notably respiratory risks.  
 
According to documents, the company failed to file inventory forms, as required by law, with state and local emergency response entities.
 
In addition to the penalty, the company agreed to purchase and install a new containment system worth more than $31,000 for its railcar slots. It is designed to capture and channel spills, including catastrophic releases, guiding them to a receiving tank. The system will prevent chemicals from entering the environment and provide a higher level of safety for emergency responders in the event of a release.