Facility Fined $97,845 for Improper Sulfuric Acid Storage

Tanco Kansas City LLP, a bulk materials storage facility, has agreed to pay a $97,845 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it violated federal laws by failing to properly document its storage of sulfuric acid and prepare a Facility Response Plan (FRP) to guard against spills of its materials into a tributary of the Missouri River.

Tanco’s facility did not have an FRP in place at the time of a May 2009 EPA inspection, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), according to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan.

Inspectors also found Tanco had not properly implemented its Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures plan, including requirements for secondary containment and tank integrity testing, both of which are designed to prevent or minimize the impacts from accidental releases.

EPA’s review of the Tanco facility also found that the company violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) by not filing proper reports for the years 2006, 2007, or 2008 to disclose the quantities of sulfuric acid that it stored onsite. A subsequent report filed in March 2010 showed Tanco stored more than 2.1 million pounds of the hazardous chemical during 2009.

Tanco’s facility has a documented storage capacity of more than 7.4 million gallons of products, including approximately 6.1 million gallons of tank capacity for the storage of liquid asphalt, with the remaining capacity divided between storage of sulfuric acid and calcium chloride.

EPA determined that a spill of those materials from Tanco could reach Island Creek, which is directly adjacent to the business, and from there, flow into the Missouri River, causing harm to fish and wildlife and the environment, and impacting downstream drinking water supply intakes.

As part of its settlement with EPA, Tanco has agreed to conduct a survey and increase its levels of secondary containment to prevent spills from leaving the facility. The company will also document all of its required training, drills, and exercises. Since the May 2009 inspection, Tanco has submitted an amended Facility Response Plan to EPA, and has agreed to a schedule for making and testing its necessary facility improvements.

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