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EPA settles with Hospital Laundry Services and Snappy Apple Farms for chemical inventory reporting violations

Release Date: 06/15/2007
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, (312) 353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07-OPA98

CHICAGO (June 14, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 recently settled two cases of hazardous chemical reporting violations involving Hospital Laundry Services and Snappy Apple Farms. The facilities are located in Wheeling, Ill., and Casnovia, Mich.
Federal law requires that local authorities be notified of hazardous chemicals storage. In the event of a fire or emergency, responders need to know what they are dealing with so they can take steps to protect people living or working in the area.
Hospital Laundry Services, 435 W. Hintz Road, Wheeling, Ill., paid $41,242 to resolve EPA's May 2007 complaint for failure to submit to state and local authorities the required 2003-2005 chemical inventory forms for 3,962 pounds of sulfuric acid, 16,605 pounds of sodium hydroxide and 13,767 pounds of hydrogen peroxide. Sulfuric acid is an extremely hazardous substance and must be reported if over 500 pounds is stored. Sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide are hazardous chemicals that must be reported at levels above 10,000 pounds. Sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid are commonly used in cleaning and processing metal.

Snappy Apple Farms, 961 Newaygo Road, Casnovia, Mich., paid $7,919 and agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project costing $4,581 to resolve an EPA May 2007 complaint for failure to submit to state and local authorities the required chemical inventory forms for 2002-2004. The facility exceeded the reporting threshold for anhydrous ammonia by 16 times.
The environmental project will include purchasing and donating to the local fire department four weather stations, four binoculars, 16 road-blocking devices and gas cartridges for 15 breathing apparatuses. Snappy Apple Farms will also pay for fire department training on hazardous material inventory, mapping and site plotting.

Anhydrous ammonia is used in commercial refrigeration systems. All of the chemicals mentioned above can cause burns to the skin and irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and may be fatal if inhaled for long periods of time.

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