Environmental Protection

EPA, Casa Grande Settle Dispute Over Emergency Response Plan

EPA recently settled with Casa Grande Water Reclamation facility, of Casa Grande, Ariz. for failing to review and update its risk management plan for hazardous waste storage.

Based on the facility's compliance history, EPA offered the company a reduced penalty after it acted quickly to update its risk management plan and pay the $1,340 fine.

"Facilities must update these plans promptly to provide accurate information about risk management of on-site chemicals," said Keith Takata, EPA's Superfund Division director for the Pacific Southwest. "State and local emergency responders depend on this information to protect communities in the event of a chemical release."

The Clean Air Act requires a registered facility to include any new information in its risk management plan and update five years after submitting the plan. Due to changes in the law that went into effect April 2004, all registered facilities were required to update and resubmit their plans.

EPA's regulations require all facilities using hazardous substances above specified threshold quantities where a worst-case release would cause an off-site consequence to develop chemical risk management plans.

The plan must include an assessment of the potential effects of an accidental release, history of accidents over the past five years, and employee training. The plan must also include an emergency response program that outlines procedures for informing the public and response agencies in the event of an accident.

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