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News Releases from Region 01

Settlement Helps Protect Public Health in South Windsor, Conn.

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - Area residents and first responders in South Windsor, Conn. are better protected from potential accidental exposure to harmful chemicals, following an EPA settlement ensuring that a local pasta manufacturing company complies with federal laws related to its use of anhydrous ammonia in its refrigeration system.

Carla's Pasta, which makes dry pasta at 50 Talbot Lane in South Windsor, has a refrigeration system that cycles about 12,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia through various physical states to freeze its products. The company recently reached a settlement with EPA, resolving allegations that it violated risk management requirements of the Clear Air Act and planning/notification requirements of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

The company is subject to the requirements of Clean Air Act's risk management program because it handles or stores more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. In an August 2014 inspection, EPA inspectors identified several potentially dangerous conditions relating to the refrigeration system. 

EPA is committed to improving safety at companies that have industrial refrigeration systems, because dangerous ammonia leaks from these systems can have devastating effects on workers, local communities and first responders.

According to a complaint filed by EPA, the company violated clean air laws by failing to comply with safety information requirements; adequately identify, evaluate, and control hazards; comply with operating procedure requirements; comply with mechanical integrity requirements; and to have an adequate emergency response program. The complaint also alleged that the company violated right to know laws by failing to submit a required Tier II inventory of hazardous chemicals for 2011 and 2012. Failing to file complete and accurate emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms deprives the community and emergency responders of their right to know about chemicals present in the neighborhood.

"The goal of the risk management program is to prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment from short-term exposures to hazardous chemicals, and to reduce the severity of any releases that do occur," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "When a facility does not follow program requirements, it puts employees of that company and nearby businesses, as well as emergency responders, the public and environment, at risk of harm from accidental releases."

EPA has started a national enforcement and compliance initiative to reduce the risks of chemical releases from various types of facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant.

The company has certified that it corrected these violations and is in compliance with these federal environmental laws. This company also agreed to pay a $78,184 penalty.

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