WEST HAVEN, CONN. (June 22, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just lately reached a settlement with New England Warehousing Group, LLC, primarily based in West Haven, Conn., for alleged violations of each the Clean Air Act’s General Duty Clause (GDC) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) in 2019 and 2020. Under the settlement, the corporate has agreed to pay a penalty of $109,635 and certify compliance with all its CAA GDC and EPCRA necessities.
“With this settlement, EPA is sending a robust message to firms that take care of harmful chemical compounds – they’ve an obligation to adjust to environmental legal guidelines as a way to shield the communities the place they’re situated,” stated EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “EPA was significantly involved that emergency responders weren’t supplied ample details about the sort and quantity of chemical compounds saved on web site, and that the ability is situated in an space with environmental justice considerations.”
The New England Warehousing Group, LLC (NEWG) is a privately owned firm that gives chemical warehousing and storage companies to clients in New England, New York, and New Jersey. NEWG shops between 10 to 12 separate merchandise at their West Haven, Conn. facility which might be reportable substances below EPCRA Section 311 and 312’s chemical stock reporting necessities. Some of those merchandise are thought of extraordinarily hazardous substances (“EHSs”) coated by CAA GDC necessities relevant to sources producing, processing, dealing with, or storing EHSs. NEWG handles and shops vital portions of reportable substances on the facility and, in 2019, saved greater than two million kilos whole, together with the extremely flammable liquids ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methanol, and acetone.
The firm’s alleged violations have been first documented throughout an EPA inspection at NEWG’s warehousing facility at 82 West Clark Street. The firm didn’t conduct a course of hazard evaluation for the warehouse operation and to design and keep a protected facility, below CAA GDC necessities, and didn’t submit full, well timed EPCRA Section 311 and 312 Chemical Inventory experiences (Tier IIs) with state and native emergency planning and response authorities. Before bringing a penalty motion, EPA issued a Notice of Violation and Administrative Order to NEWG citing its GDC violations, which have been corrected by the corporate after they carried out a course of hazard evaluation and made chemical administration program adjustments on the facility. NEWG cooperated with EPA all through the enforcement course of.
NEWG’s facility is a part of an eight-acre parcel situated in a densely populated city neighborhood. It is surrounded by quite a few enterprise and residential properties and lies inside about 500 toes of a commuter rail station. The firm’s previous storage of hazardous chemical compounds on the facility introduced substantial threat to human well being and the setting, because of the presence of many extremely flammable liquids. The facility can be situated in an space of potential environmental justice considerations, because of the presence of comparatively substantial environmental burdens and/or susceptible populations.
This case is a part of an initiative to enhance security and compliance at chemical warehouses. Through the initiative, EPA Region 1 has introduced a number of civil and felony instances in opposition to chemical warehouses and printed data to help with compliance.
Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act
The purpose of the Section 112(r) of the CAA is to forestall unintended releases of drugs that may trigger severe hurt to the general public and the setting. Facilities that fail to adjust to Section 112(r) put facility personnel, workers of adjoining companies, emergency responders, and the native inhabitants and setting vulnerable to hurt from such unintended releases.
EPCRA Section 311 and 312 and Safety Data Sheet
Under EPCRA Section 311, EPA requires amenities which have hazardous chemical compounds to keep up a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and submit copies of SDSs or, alternatively, an inventory of hazardous chemical compounds to native and state emergency planning and response authorities. Companies should submit an up to date SDS with new data if circumstances change or if new hazardous chemical compounds grow to be current on web site.
In addition, below EPCRA Section 312, firms should additionally undergo such authorities a chemical stock kind, which incorporates a listing of their hazardous chemical compounds, together with chemical identify, amount and location, yearly by March 1st for the earlier calendar 12 months.
General Duty Clause Requirements of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act
Safety Alert for Chemical Warehouses (pdf) (372 Ok)
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act