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Spokane, Washington chlorine distributor agrees to pay over $19,000 to settle EPA Risk Management Program violations

Release Date: 06/28/2010
Contact Information: Javier Morales, EPA Risk Management Program Coordinator, (206) 533-1255, morales.javier@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Spokane, Wash. – June 28, 2010) Oxarc, Inc. has agreed to pay $19,472 penalty to settle a case for violations of the Clean Air Act Risk Management Program requirements according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The settlement came after EPA found that Oxarc, Inc. was in violation of the Risk Management Program requirements at four of their facilities which are located in North Lewiston and Nampa, Idaho and Pasco and Spokane, Washington. EPA alleges that Oxarc, Inc. failed to update their Risk Management Program at least every five years. The four facilities use more than 2,500 pounds of chlorine each. The violations have since been corrected.

According to Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, EPA’s Risk Management Program is designed to protect public health and the environment from accidental releases of harmful chemicals.

"We can't take chances with public health," said EPA’s Kowalski. “Preventing an accidental release of dangerous chemicals like chlorine protects the lives of workers, responders and nearby residents."

Chlorine is listed as a hazardous air pollutant under Section 112(b) (1) of the Clean Air Act. Exposure to chlorine may result in chemical-type burns to skin, eyes, and lungs.

Oxarc, Inc. is a distributor of welding and industrial supplies, as well as industrial, medical and specialty gases, including chlorine.

Requirements of the Risk Management Program include: development of an emergency response or action plan; hazard evaluation of a “worst case and more probable case” chemical release; operator training; review of the hazards associated with using toxic or flammable substances; and operating procedures and equipment maintenance.


To learn more about EPA’s work to protect communities from toxic chemicals through the Risk Management Program go to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/sites/rmp

For more about toxic effects of chlorine (NIOSH GUIDE):
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0115.html

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