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U.S. EPA settles with Lodi company for chemical release reporting violations

Release Date: 9/29/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile ( ) - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)

SAN FRANCISCO – -This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a $31,403 settlement with Cottage Bakery, Inc. for allegedly failing to report the amount of ammonia the company released from its Lodi, Calif. facility in 2000, 2001 and 2003 to the toxics release inventory report, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Federal law requires that certain facilities using toxic chemicals over specified amounts file annual reports of their chemical releases with the EPA and the state. Information from these reports is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

"These reports provide the public with valuable information about the toxic chemicals being released in their communities,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA’s Cross Media Division director for the Pacific Southwest. "This case should remind others that the EPA is maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and is serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

The EPA became aware of the violations during TRI investigations looking at Central Valley facilities. The company has since hired additional staff, made substantial improvements to its ammonia record keeping practices and submitted the required reports.

Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia can cause severe burns in the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. Breathing lower concentrations can cause coughing and nose and throat irritation.

Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior year’s submissions and provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

For more information on the program visit: The EPA’s environmental databases, including TRI data, can be accessed at: