Plumbing Manufacturer Fined $16,000 for Not Providing Toxic Chemical Info

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled with El Monte, Calif.-based Champion-Arrowhead LLC for allegedly failing to submit toxic chemical reports detailing the amounts of copper, lead, and zinc compounds it processed, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The facility manufactured irrigation and plumbing products in 2005.

"The EPA takes enforcing community right-to-know laws very seriously--this fine against Champion-Arrowhead LLC proves that," said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Because exposure to high levels of copper, lead, and zinc compounds causes a wide range of illnesses and environmental damage, communities need to know if and when these chemicals have been released."

According to EPA, in 2005, Champion-Arrowhead processed more than 408,000 pounds of copper compounds, more than 29,000 pounds of lead compounds, and more than 86,000 pounds of zinc compounds. The company failed to submit reports to EPA listing the amount, if any, of these processed chemicals released to the environment, as required by federal emergency planning regulations.

Each year EPA compiles the information submitted to it from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases, producing a national Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database for public availability. The 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. For more information on the TRI program, visit www.epa.gov/tri. EPA's TRI program data, as well as other environmental databases, can be accessed at www.epa.gov/enviro.

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