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EPA settles chemical accident prevention planning violations at eight Yakima Valley cold storage facilities

EPA: “Zillah and Yakima families deserve better protection from chemical hazards.”

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EPA has settled alleged civil chemical accident prevention and preparedness violations with three separate companies operating a total of eight cold storage facilities in Yakima County, Washington.

Today’s settlements, reached under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), are part of EPA’s nationwide campaign to protect unfairly burdened communities and reduce or eliminate accidental releases at industrial and chemical facilities sited in or near neighborhoods similar to those in Zillah and Yakima.

Each facility owner or operator has agreed to pay a penalty as part of these settlements:

Company: Stadelman Fruit LLC
Penalty: $238,875
Facilities:

  • 1st Avenue, Zillah, Washington
  • Cheyne Road, Zillah, Washington
  • Bella Terra Road, Zillah, Washington 
  • West Northstone Parkway, Zillah, Washington 

Company: Hollingbery and Sons, Inc.
Penalty: $21,600
Facility: North 1st Avenue, Yakima, Washington 

Company: Hollingbery CA and Cold Storage LLC
Penalty: $96,600
Facilities: North 1st Avenue, Yakima, Washington (3 facilities )

All involved facilities use Anhydrous Ammonia for Refrigerated Cold Storage. Because Anhydrous Ammonia can cause serious, often irreversible health effects when released, it is considered an Extremely Hazardous Substance. Under EPCRA, Anhydrous Ammonia has a 500-lb. reporting and planning requirement threshold. In addition to its potential harmful health effects from inhalation and skin contact, Anhydrous Ammonia is highly flammable.

EPCRA Section 312 requires companies to file hazardous chemical inventory report forms with the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the local Fire Department each year by March 1st.

Timely, accurate reporting helps protect responders and surrounding communities in the event of an accidental, uncontrolled release of hazardous chemicals.

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Author: Region 10

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