August 28, 2023
R10 Public Affairs Office (R10_Press_Team@epa.gov)
SEATTLE (August 28, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Congdon Packing Company, LLC, and D&H Properties Yakima, LLC, agreed to pay $194,302 for violations of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act.
Under the Clean Air Act, facility owners or operators handling or storing 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia are required to develop and implement a risk management plan to prevent accidental chemical releases.
In violation of this requirement, the owner and operator of the facility failed to:
- Keep safety information up to date
- Adequately address process hazard analysis recommendations
- Perform a timely process hazard analysis every five years
- Provide initial safety training for three employees
- Replace and maintain process equipment for safe operation
“Ammonia is extremely dangerous, so risk management planning can save people’s lives,” said EPA Region 10 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Director Ed Kowalski. “By creating a solid plan and making it central to their business operations, companies can reduce the chances of a chemical release and lower risks to plant workers, first responders and the surrounding community – and minimize the risk of a hefty EPA penalty.”
Exposure to ammonia may result in chemical-type burns to skin, eyes and lungs. Accidental ammonia releases can cause injuries and death to employees, emergency response personnel and people in surrounding communities.
This settlement is part of EPA’s National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative, “Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities.” Additional details can be found in the Consent Agreement.
Congdon Packing Company, LLC operated a cold storage facility in Yakima, Washington, which was owned by D&H Properties. In October 2021, Congdon Packing Company, LLC terminated operations at the facility. D&H Properties Yakima, LLC subsequently sold the ammonia refrigeration facility and removed ammonia from the refrigeration system.