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EPA REACHES $225,000 SETTLEMENT WITH FOSTER DAIRY FARMS

Release Date: 12/17/2001
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/947-4306

     Central Valley company cited for reporting violations

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a $225,000 settlement today with Foster Dairy Farms, Inc. for the company's alleged failure to comply with community right-to-know regulations at three of its facilities in Modesto and Fresno, Calif. in the mid-'90s.

     The U.S. EPA and Department of Justice cited Foster for failing to file timely reports on releases of three toxic chemicals    ammonia, nitric acid, and phosphoric acid   from its three facilities from 1994-1996, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

     "Companies working with hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to their employees and the surrounding neighborhood to report chemical releases," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA's Cross Media Division for the Pacific Southwest Region.  "Thanks to this settlement and others like it in the Central Valley, residents from Modesto to Fresno will have more information on toxic chemical use in their communities."

     During an inspection of Foster Dairy's facilities in 1997, EPA investigators discovered that the company had never filed federally required reporting forms for ammonia, nitric acid and phosphoric acid used at the facilities.  Since being notified of the violations, Foster Dairy Farms has complied with federal law by annually filing the appropriate forms.

     The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires companies to file annual chemical release forms with the EPA and the state to report releases of certain toxic chemicals above certain amounts that they manufactured, processed or otherwise used at each of their facilities.  The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management.  Information is then compiled into a national database, called the "Toxics Release Inventory," and made available to the public.    

     More information about the TRI program, including reporting requirements and instructions, can be obtained by calling (800) 535-0202, or at www.epa.gov/tri.  The TRI database, containing facility-specific chemical release data, can be accessed at www.epa.gov/enviro.  
 

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