EPA Clean Air Act Settlement Agreement with George Prepared Foods Corporation Safeguards Tennesseans
ATLANTA (Dec. 14, 2021) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an administrative settlement agreement with George Prepared Foods Corporation resolving allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act at its facility located in Caryville, Tennessee. Non-compliance with the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions (CAPP) and the Risk Management Program (RMP) was alleged after an inspection was conducted at the facility.
"This settlement emphasizes the importance for facilities to control and minimize the risks associated with hazardous substances,” said Carol Kemker, EPA Region 4 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division Director. “Instituting procedures and maintaining equipment are necessary factors to protect human health and the environment.”
George Prepared Foods Corporation produces poultry and prepared foods products. Anhydrous ammonia is used by the facility in its ammonia refrigeration process. Ammonia is regulated under the RMP rules as a hazardous substance. The CAPP and RMP regulations are in place to prevent accidental releases of hazardous substances and to minimize the consequences of those releases that do occur. Accidental releases of the chemicals used by the facility can impact public health, safety, and the environment. Facilities that use more than a threshold quantity of hazardous substances are regulated by the RMP rules. The rules require facilities to develop a plan that identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident, identify the steps being taken to prevent an accident, and the emergency response procedures that are to be followed in case an accident occurs.
EPA inspectors collected information leading to the allegations during an inspection of the facility in April 2019. EPA alleges the company failed to identify and address hazards associated with its ammonia refrigeration system and failed to design and maintain a safe facility as required by the RMP.
The Consent Agreement and Final Order was filed on Nov. 30, 2021. Under the terms of the agreement, George Prepared Foods Corporation took steps to return the Caryville facility to compliance and will pay a civil penalty of $89,908.
For more information about the RMP requirements, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/rmp