Dyno Nobel Settles Ammonia Charges: $17K Penalty, $72K for New Equipment

The Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Dyno Nobel Inc. for its alleged failure to report in a timely manner the release of approximately 448 pounds of ammonia from the company’s facility in Deer Island, Ore. The settlement includes $17,000 in penalties and $72,000 to provide emergency response equipment for local firefighters and a new ammonia monitoring system at the facility.

According to EPA, the settlement is related to a release at Dyno Nobel’s ammonia and nitric acid manufacturing facility in Deer Island on Sept. 29, 2008.

In the agreement, EPA alleges that the company failed to notify the appropriate emergency response entities until approximately 11 hours after the release occurred. The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act require that releases of hazardous substances such as ammonia that are above a reportable quantity be immediately reported to federal, state and local emergency response entities.

"The health and safety of our communities depends on prompt release reporting," said Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance & Enforcement in Seattle. "Effective emergency response begins with timely notification, which allows local, state, and federal responders to take action and reduce risks to public safety and the environment. Ammonia can be extremely dangerous, which is why immediately notifying the appropriate agencies is so important.”

In addition to the penalty payment, Dyno Nobel will perform a Supplemental Environmental Project, providing $56,000 to install an ammonia monitoring system for improved leak detection. The company also has agreed to provide more than $16,000 to purchase emergency response equipment for Columbia River Fire & Rescue. This equipment will improve the department’s capabilities in responding to hazardous materials emergencies in a safe and effective manner, EPA noted.

Ammonia is a colorless gas that can cause severe burns to skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, and with high enough exposure, death. For information on EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, visit www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/epcra/epcraenfstatreq.html. For more about toxic effects of Anhydrous Ammonia (NIOSH GUIDE), go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0028.html.

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