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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Settlement with Dairy Company Improves Safety for Johnstown, Pa. Residents

07/20/2016
Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
(215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (July 20, 2016)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled alleged violations with the Galliker Dairy Company for failing to safely manage a hazardous substance at its dairy products manufacturing plant in Johnstown, Pa.  EPA cited Galliker Dairy for not safely managing the anhydrous ammonia – an extremely hazardous substance – used in its refrigeration system.  The settlement requires the company to pay a $35,991 penalty.

Under the federal Clean Air Act’s general duty clause, facilities with extremely hazardous substances are required to identify and assess the hazards posed by the substances, design and maintain a safe facility, to prevent accidental releases to the air, and minimize the consequence of accidental releases if they occur.

The company violated these requirements by failing to ensure that the design and maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system was consistent with industry safety standards.  These violations include deficiencies in training, maintenance documentation, detector/alarm settings, personal protective equipment, and protection of the system.   

Ensuring safety measures are in place can prevent a release to the air which protects employees as well as the community from potentially harmful effects.  It also increases the effectiveness and efficiency of local responders who may be called to respond to an emergency.

As part of the settlement, the company has not admitted liability for the alleged violations, but has documented its current compliance with industry standards and corrected all of the deficiencies.

See EPA’s fact sheet on the Clean Air Act’s general duty clause requirements: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-10/documents/gdc-fact.pdf

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