The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced settlements with six New England companies that resolve alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Act, which requires companies and organizations to report their use and release of toxic chemicals to EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Program.
The companies are Franklin Foods of Enosburg Falls, Vermont, Hollingsworth & Vose Company of Groton, Mass., AFC Cable Systems, Inc. of New Bedford, Mass., National Chain Company of Warwick, R.I., Twin Rivers Paper Company of Madawaska, Maine, and Commonwealth Dairy of Brattleboro, Vermont.
"These settlements exemplify how EPA holds commercial enterprises accountable for assuring that they do not harm the communities where they are," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Assisting, incentivizing, and ensuring facilities comply with required, annual reporting of exactly what chemicals they use and what they're releasing into the environment, keeps all our communities safe and informed, including those who have suffered from disproportionate amounts of environmental pollution."
The next deadline for permitted facilities to file their Toxic Release Reports is July 1, 2023.
All six companies promptly corrected the EPCRA violations after EPA inspections and have filed required reports about their use or generation of toxic chemicals under EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program, allowing the public and local officials to access data about toxic chemicals used and released in their communities. Each company agreed to pay a civil penalty, improved its compliance with TRI requirements, and cooperated with EPA.
More information on the settlements:
- Franklin Foods, in Enosburg Falls, Vermont, allegedly failed to timely file EPCRA Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory ("TRI") reports for nitric acid and nitrate compounds for calendar years 2019 and 2020. Franklin Foods agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $90,294.40.
- Hollingsworth & Vose Company, in Groton, Mass., allegedly failed to submit TRI reports for zinc compounds and barium compounds processed at the Groton facility in calendar year 2019. Hollingsworth & Vose agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $39,705.
- AFC Cable, in New Bedford, Mass., allegedly failed to timely file TRI reports for antimony compounds processed at the facility during calendar years 2018 and 2019. AFC Cable agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $40,000.
- National Chain, in Warwick, R.I., allegedly failed to timely file TRI reports for anhydrous ammonia and silver processed or used at the facility during the 2020 calendar year. National Chain agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $28,260.
- Twin Rivers, in Madawaska, Maine, allegedly failed to timely file TRI reports for nitrate compounds used at the facility during calendar years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Twin Rivers agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $67,721.
- Commonwealth Dairy, in Brattleboro, Vermont, allegedly failed to timely file TRI reports for nitric acid and nitrate compounds for calendar years 2019 and 2020, and for peracetic acid for reporting year 2020. Commonwealth Dairy agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $92,100.40.
The obligation to report toxic chemical use and releases under the Toxic Release Inventory program is included in EPCRA, enacted in 1986, in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the use and release of toxic chemicals. The yearly submission of Toxic Release Inventory forms is a key component of the statute. They ensure that citizens and public safety officials have access to information about chemicals at nearby facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. Making such information available to the public and municipal officials also creates a strong incentive for companies to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals and improve overall environmental performance and safety.