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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted compliance inspections of Thatcher Chemical’s Salt Lake City facility in February and April of 2010 to assess compliance with federal risk management program regulations. The settlement requires Thatcher to implement improved maintenance and internal auditing of equipment used to store and process hazardous chemicals, as well as improving documentation of training for employees working with these chemicals
Under the Clean Air Act, operations such as Thatcher’s must develop a risk management program and submit a risk management plan to assist with emergency preparedness, chemical release prevention, and minimization of releases that occur. EPA Inspectors found that the facility had not adequately implemented those regulations.
“Companies that use chemicals and substances which pose a potential danger are responsible for having a robust risk management program in place,” said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver. “Failure to do so places the environment, employees, and the nearby community at risk.”
Thatcher, which has operations in several states, is subject to the risk management regulations because it stores large quantities of substances classified as “extremely hazardous” by EPA at its Salt Lake City plant including ammonia, chlorine, and sulfur dioxide. Failure to establish adequate programs and keep plans updated can increase the risk of accidents and reduce preparedness for emergencies.
For more information on the Clean Air Act and risk management requirements: http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/rmp/caa_faqs.htm