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U.S. EPA penalizes Salinas, California company over violating Clean Air Act chemical safety requirements

Under settlement, company will pay fine, make safety improvements at facility

02/17/2021
Contact Information: 
Joshua Alexander (alexander.joshua@epa.gov)
415-972-3258

Salinas, Calif. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with GreenGate Fresh, LLC for violating the Clean Air Act. GreenGate Fresh will pay a penalty of $80,000 and restore its Salinas facility to compliance with federal law on an established schedule. This facility chills and stores produce-related products for the food service industry using anhydrous ammonia for refrigeration.

On July 23, 2019, EPA performed an inspection of the facility and found violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan regulations, including:

  • Evaporators and piping in some parts of the facility lacked adequate protection from forklift strikes.
  • Inadequate and inconsistent labeling and signage for process piping, equipment and fencing throughout the facility.
  • Safety information inaccurately reflected the technology of the process at the facility, which is used to identify hazards and to make necessary repairs.

“It is paramount that facilities properly manage the handling of hazardous substances to prevent accidental releases to the environment and to the surrounding community,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “The food production industry needs to properly manage chemicals like anhydrous ammonia or face significant Clean Air Act penalties.”

When properly implemented, risk management plans help prevent chemical releases and minimize their potential impacts at facilities that store large amounts of hazardous substances. Thousands of facilities nationwide make, use, and store extremely hazardous substances, including anhydrous ammonia. Catastrophic accidents at these facilities—historically about 150 accidents each year—result in fatalities and serious injuries, evacuations, and other harm to human health and the environment.

To find information on Risk Management Plan requirements under the Clean Air Act, visit: https://www.epa.gov/rmp/

For more information on EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to reduce risks of releases at ammonia refrigeration facilities, please visit https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-reducing-accidental-releases-industrial-and-chemical

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