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Kodak Settles with EPA on Chemical Reporting Charges for $51,000; Violations included under-reporting some chemical releases

Release Date: 06/08/2000
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(#00117) New York, N.Y. – The Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on charges that it violated federal toxic chemical reporting requirements on eight occasions from 1995 to 1997. Kodak has paid a penalty of $51,491 for the infractions, and has agreed to follow all EPA chemical reporting requirements in the future.

EPA inspectors visited the Kodak facility at 1669 Lake Avenue in Rochester on August 18, 1998. Based on this inspection and information voluntarily disclosed by Kodak, the agency determined that from 1995 to 1997 Kodak under-reported the quantity of certain chemicals it disposed-of in the nearby Genesee River and shipped out for disposal. EPA also charged that Kodak did not file proper information about its use of other toxic chemicals. These actions violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), the law that requires certain companies to provide information to the government about the chemicals they use.

"Congress passed the law requiring industries to report this information to give people an accurate picture of what chemicals are used by facilities near their homes and emitted into their local environment," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "However, this information is only as good as what industry reports to us. Companies like Kodak that use large quantities of chemicals and have significant environmental emissions must be vigilant about reporting information to us accurately and on-time. We are pleased that Kodak has settled amicably with EPA in this case, and do not expect to see these violations repeated."

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted by Congress in 1984 in response to the chemical release disaster in Bhopal, India. The law requires certain industries to provide information to EPA and the states by July 1 of every year about the use and release into the environment of over 650 toxic chemicals. This information is compiled by EPA annually into a Toxic Release Inventory, which is made available to the public. People may access information about chemical releases from industries near them by visiting the EPA Toxic Release Inventory website.

EPA charged specifically that Kodak had: failed to file information about its use of the chemical 2-methoxyethanol in 1997; not filed the correct TRI form for its use of phenol in 1997; under-reported the amount of manganese compounds it shipped off-site in 1996 and the amount of ethylene glycol it shipped off-site in 1995,1996 and 1997; and under-reported the amounts of nitrate compounds it discharged into the Genesee River in 1995 and 1996.

Kodak submits an average of 60 TRI forms annually for its Lake Avenue facility, one for each chemical it uses and/or releases into the environment.