Asphalt Plant Owner Fined for Failing to Protect Emergency Responders, Public

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Fisher Sand and Gravel, a.k.a. Southwest Asphalt, $18,200 for failing to provide annual chemical inventory reports to emergency planners and responders, a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act.

Southwest Asphalt, located in Phoenix, failed to provide chemical hazard information and submit a chemical inventory for its facility to local emergency responders for the 2006 reporting year, EPA said. In 2006, the facility converted to an asphalt manufacturing plant that stored asphalt cement, boiler oil, and diesel fuel at levels that required reporting. The company has since corrected the violations.

"Southwest Asphalt violated a law that ensures first responders can take appropriate action to safeguard themselves and the community," said Daniel Meer, the EPA's assistant Superfund director for the Pacific Southwest region. "Facilities need to be aware of these reporting requirements that protect emergency responders and the public in the event of an accidental release."

EPA noted that the chemical hazard information and inventory are essential planning tools in the event of an emergency. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act requires all facilities using hazardous substances above specified quantities to provide chemical hazard information and annual chemical inventory information to state and local emergency planners and fire departments for inclusion in the community emergency plan.

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