Lenexa KS (1/4/2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Earth City, Missouri, polyurethane manufacturer Foam Supplies Inc. to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule.
The settlement requires the company to pay a $7,398 civil penalty. The company also agreed to purchase no less than $35,500 in emergency response equipment to be donated to a local fire department.
“It is important that companies that handle dangerous chemicals comply with the safety requirements of the Clean Air Act,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Through this enforcement action, Foam Supplies is now in compliance with those rules and local emergency responders have new equipment that will improve their ability to safely respond to chemical releases.”
According to EPA, the company stores over 10,000 pounds of methyl formate, a regulated flammable substance, and failed to comply with regulations intended to protect the surrounding community from accidental releases of regulated substances. Alleged violations included failure to submit a risk management plan and implement a hazard assessment. In response to EPA’s findings, Foam Supplies Inc. took the necessary steps to bring the facility into compliance.
The donated equipment will go to the Pattonville, Missouri, Fire Department. It includes gas detectors to help determine if the atmosphere is safe for entry by firefighters; air bags for rapid extrication of entrapped individuals; and new fire hoses. This project will improve the ability of the local emergency response team to detect and respond to releases of regulated substances.
The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule regulations require facilities that use regulated toxic and/or flammable substances to develop a Risk Management Plan that identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident; identifies steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident; and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur. These plans provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community.
EPA has found that many regulated facilities are not adequately managing the risks they pose or ensuring the safety of their facilities in a way that is sufficient to protect surrounding communities. Approximately 150 catastrophic accidents occur each year at regulated facilities. These accidents result in fatalities, injuries, significant property damage, evacuations, sheltering in place, or environmental damage. Many more accidents with lesser effects also occur, demonstrating a clear risk posed by these facilities.
Reducing risks from accidental releases of hazardous substances at industrial and chemical facilities is a top priority for EPA, which identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.
- Learn more about the EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives
- Learn more about EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule
Ben Washburn (firstname.lastname@example.org)