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EPA fines Tucson company $12,995 for failing to report storage of a hazardous chemical

Release Date: 2/27/2004
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined a Tucson company $12,995 for failing to report to the appropriate authorities the amount the facility was storing of a hazardous chemical, a violation of federal emergency planning and community-right-to-know laws.

Pima Chemical failed to submit an annual emergency and hazardous chemical inventory report to state and local emergency response commissions and the Tucson fire department on the amount of chlorine stored at its plant from 1998 through 2000. The company is required to report anything over 100 pounds and was storing more than 10 times that amount.

The company chlorinates swimming pools. Chlorine is a potent irritant to the eyes, skin, the upper respiratory tract and lungs.

"Facilities that store hazardous chemicals have a responsibility to provide prompt and accurate information about the chemicals they are storing," said Keith Takata, the EPA's Superfund division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "Without this information, state and local emergency responders cannot be adequately prepared to protect our communities in the event of a chemical release."

The company filed the reports in February 2002 in response to an EPA investigation.

Federal law requires that the owner or operator of a regulated facility to annually submit by March 1 a complete hazardous chemical inventory to local and state authorities and to the local fire department when amounts exceed specific quantities.