Abilene Products settles with US regulator over ammonia plant

15 August 2013 22:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Abilene Products has agreed to pay a $15,290 (€11,467.50) civil penalty to settle allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it violated the Clean Air Act at its facility in Abilene, Kansas, the fertilizer distribution company announced on Thursday.

The settlement between the company and the EPA stems from an inspection that revealed Abilene Products failed to develop and implement a risk management programme for its fertilizer facility that would meet the requirements of the agency’s chemical accident prevention regulations.

Following complaints from the community in November 2011, the EPA inspected the facility and found that the company was storing more than nine times the threshold quantity of ammonia. The federal agency said the potential for accidental exposure to the community and emergency personnel was at a high level due to the company’s failure to follow the set requirements.

In response to the EPA’s findings, Abilene Products decided to immediately remove a total of 99,000 lb (45,000 kg) of ammonia from the facility.

In addition to the civil penalty, the company has agreed to spend an additional $75,370 to complete a supplemental environmental project, officials said. Part of the expenditures will be used to install a weather station system as well as an automated safety system at the facility to increase the levels of safety involving all chemicals stored on site.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Mark Milam



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