14 February 2013 00:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Iowa-based producer Koch Nitrogen has reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pay a $380,000 (€281,200) fine for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the US regulator announced on Wednesday.
According to the EPA, inspections of three facilities in 2007 and 2009 revealed risk management programme violations.
“A proper risk management programme is an important component of preventing accidental releases into the air of harmful substances and to reduce the severity of release that do occur,” said EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks.
“This penalty sends a strong message to Koch and other companies that EPA expects adherence to all aspects of the Clean Air Act,” he added.
The facilities in question are located in Fort Dodge and Marshalltown, Iowa, and Dodge City, Kansas. The Fort Dodge and Dodge City plants manufacture ammonia, urea and ammonia nitrate products. The facility in Marshalltown is a pipeline terminal which primarily stores ammonia.
EPA inspectors found the plants had not fully implemented required prevention programmes. Additionally, the operations lacked adequate coordination with local emergency responders.
The EPA said that Koch, which is based in Fort Dodge and manufactures both ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) fertilizers, has now certified that it is in full compliance with the federal protection act.
Koch officials said they are committed to following the Clean Air Act guidelines and believe the end-results of this settlement will ensure a more complete level of compliance and safeguarding.
“Koch Nitrogen worked cooperatively with the Department of Justice and the US Environmental Protection Agency to fully resolve these issues," said Koch communications director Paul Baltzer. "We believe the dialogue has been constructive and that both sides benefited and learned from the discussions. The resulting settlement reflects the strong protections we provide in our facility risk management programmes."
($1 = €0.74)
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