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General Biodiesel settles with EPA for hazardous chemical and emergency planning violations

Release Date: 12/26/2012
Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-6689, skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov

(Seattle - December 26, 2012) General Biodiesel, in south Seattle, will pay a penalty for failing to report their hazardous chemicals in violation of federal emergency planning laws, according to a consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

General Biodiesel converts used cooking oils, fish oil, vegetable oil, and animal fats into biodiesel fuel and glycerol in a process that uses hazardous chemicals including methanol, sodium methoxide, and sulfuric acid. In 2009 and 2010, General Biodiesel failed to submit Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory forms to the Seattle fire department, King County emergency management, and Washington’s Emergency Response Commission.

"When a company fails to report their hazardous chemicals to emergency planners and responders, they put their employees and the community at risk," said Kelly McFadden, EPA’s Pesticides and Toxics Unit Manager in Seattle. "This information is critical to alert federal, state, and local officials to prevent injuries or deaths to emergency responders, workers, and the local community."

Failure to report large amounts of hazardous chemicals to appropriate agencies is a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

General Biodiesel agreed to pay a $62,985 penalty and fully comply with federal emergency planning rules to protect their workers, emergency responders, and the local community.

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