Chemical Reporting Violations Cost Company More than $80,000
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached an $80,080 settlement with Electronic Evolution Technologies of Reno, Nev., for its failure to submit required toxic chemical reports, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The company failed to submit timely, complete, and correct reports detailing the amounts of lead processed at its facility from 2002 through 2005, EPA said. Agency inspectors discovered the four violations as a result of a routine inspection in April 2007 and a follow-up investigation.
"Facilities that process particularly toxic chemicals, such as lead, must follow reporting rules to ensure area residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards locally," said Nathan Lau, Communities and Ecosystems Division Associate Director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."
Federal community right-to-know laws require facilities processing, manufacturing, or otherwise using more than 100 pounds of lead to report releases of this highly toxic chemical on an annual basis to the EPA and the state. Although the company exceeded these thresholds from 2002 through 2005, it failed to submit reports to the agency for any of those years. The facility uses lead in connection with its manufacturing of printed circuit boards. Although the facility's operations did not release lead into the environment, it was still required to report lead processing to the EPA because the facility was over the applicable reporting threshold, the agency said.
Each year, the EPA compiles the information submitted to it from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory database for public availability. This TRI database estimates the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases. For more information on the TRI program, visit www.epa.gov/tr. EPA's TRI program data, as well as other environmental databases, can be accessed at www.epa.gov/enviro.