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U.S. EPA settles with Arizona mine for $28,950 for toxic chemical reporting violations

Release Date: 12/05/2007
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano 415-947-4307

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today settled with an Arizona mining company for $28,950 for failing to submit required toxic chemical reports, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.


    Silver Bell voluntarily disclosed its failure to submit timely, complete, and correct reports detailing the amounts of cobalt processed in 2001-2003 at its facility located at 25000 West Avra Road in Marana, Ariz., and promptly corrected the violations. In accordance with the EPA’s general policy of working with industry and encouraging voluntary disclosure, the penalty for these violations was reduced because Silver Bell voluntarily reported the violations to the agency.

    “Facilities that process chemicals such as cobalt must report the use of the chemicals so residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards in the community,” said Nathan Lau, Associate Director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.

    If accidentally released, breathing high concentrations of cobalt can result in significant decrease of respiratory function, lung congestion, edema (swelling) and hemorrhaging in the lung.

    Each year the EPA compiles information submitted from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory database for public availability. This database estimates the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

    For more information on the Toxics Release Inventory program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA’s environmental databases, including the TRI program data, can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro.
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