EPA Fines Cleaning Products Manufacturer in Great Bend, Kansas, for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations
LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 25, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will collect a $144,924 penalty from Fuller Industries Inc. to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule.
The Great Bend, Kansas, company produces a variety of cleaning products. According to EPA, as part of its manufacturing of chemical cleaning products, Fuller Industries stores isobutane and propane, subjecting the company to regulations intended to protect workers and the surrounding community from accidental releases of regulated substances.
After inspecting Fuller Industries’ facility in 2019, EPA determined that the company failed to comply with several key release prevention requirements, including failure to develop adequate standard operating procedures; failure to establish procedures for ensuring appropriate inspections of piping; and failure to conduct certain safety reviews. In addition, EPA documented violations of hazard assessment and recordkeeping requirements.
In response to EPA’s findings, the company took the necessary steps to return the facility to compliance.
Isobutane and propane are flammable gases. High levels of exposure may lead to dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, nausea, choking, and death.
The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule regulations require facilities that use regulated toxic and/or flammable substances to develop a Risk Management Plan, which identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident; identifies steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident; and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur. These plans provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community.
EPA has found that many regulated facilities are not adequately managing the risks that they pose or ensuring the safety of their facilities in a way that is sufficient to protect surrounding communities. Approximately 150 catastrophic accidents occur each year at regulated facilities. These accidents result in fatalities, injuries, significant property damage, evacuations, sheltering in place, or environmental damage. Many more accidents with lesser effects also occur, demonstrating a clear risk posed by these facilities.
Reducing risks from accidental releases of hazardous substances at industrial and chemical facilities is a top priority for EPA, which identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019. For more information, visit EPA’s website.
Learn more about EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule.
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