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Release Date: 2/5/1999
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

     San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced it ordered Burtin Urethane Corp. to pay a civil penalty of $120,000 for 19 violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  These violations occurred at Burtin Urethane's chemical manufacturing plant in Santa Ana, California.

     On March 31, 1997, the U.S. EPA's San Francisco office filed an administrative complaint alleging that, between 1992 and 1996, Burtin Urethane violated section 313 of EPCRA by failing to disclose its annual use and emissions of toxic chemicals to U.S. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).  The administrative law judge found Burtin Urethane liable for all 19 violations alleged in the complaint and assessed a civil penalty of $120,000 for these violations.

     "As the judge stated in his decision, Burtin Urethane's failure to provide information about its toxic chemical usage and releases was a serious breach of its federal reporting obligations and warranted a fairly severe penalty," said Enrique Manzanilla, U.S. EPA's regional cross-media division director.  "This decision sends a clear message to industry that the U.S. EPA will seek substantial penalties for failure to report as required by federal law."

     The reporting requirements of EPCRA were developed in large part as a response to the chemical plant disaster in Bhopal, India in 1984.  EPCRA requires certain industries to file annual reports for each toxic chemical that is manufactured, processed, or used above a specified threshold amount.  These reports, containing information on toxic chemical releases, are then provided to the federal, state, and local governments, as well as to the public so that people are informed about the toxic chemicals present in their communities.  This information is available through EPA's Envirofacts website, at

     Businesses seeking more information on complying with this requirement should call the EPCRA Hotline at 800/535-0202.  U.S. EPA also holds annual compliance assistance workshops.  Call the U.S. EPA Region 9 TRI program at 415/744-1093 for more information.

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