Roanoke Chemical Distributor To Pay $44,000 Penalty for Safety Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that a chemical distributor in Roanoke, Va., has agreed to pay a $43,967 penalty and complete more than $200,000 in safety improvements to settle alleged violations of federal environmental laws designed to protect and inform the public about hazardous chemicals.

The company, Chemicals and Solvents, Inc. (doing business as Chemsolv Inc.) is located at 1111 Industry Ave., S.E., Roanoke. The settlement applies to Chemsolv and Austin Holdings-VA, LLC, owner of two of three properties that make up the facility.

According to an EPA complaint, the alleged violations include the facility’s lack of fire protection, inadequate secondary containment and improper storage of incompatible chemicals. Other violations concern the company’s failure to fully implement its risk management program, which is designed to help prevent chemical releases, and the company’s failure to submit required documentation to state, county and local officials for the facility’s numerous hazardous chemicals. States and communities can use this information to improve chemical safety and to protect public health and the environment in the event of a release.

The settlement follows up on an EPA order in June 2008 for Chemsolv to take extensive measures to ensure that its storage facilities complied with industry standards and risk management program regulations. To comply with the order, Chemsolv rebuilt two large warehouses at the facility.

In the settlement, Chemsolv has agreed to pay a cash penalty of $43,967, and to implement two additional safety upgrades that exceed regulatory requirements: (1) installation of a nitrogen blanketing system on 20 storage tanks containing flammable materials at a cost of $153,000, and (2) installation of a dry disconnect system on hoses at the facility, which will eliminate drips and accidental spills during loading and unloading of chemicals, at a cost of $63,000. In the settlement documents, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.

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