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E-M:/ Dow Chemical Busted



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:22:23 -0400 (EDT)
Errors-To: kelley.jeff@epamail.epa.gov
Reply-To: eparegion5news@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov
Originator: eparegion5news@unixmail.rtpnc.epa.gov
Sender: eparegion5news@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov
From: JEFF KELLEY <KELLEY.JEFF@epamail.epa.gov>
To: Multiple recipients of list <eparegion5news@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov>
Subject: EPA CITES DOW CHEMICAL FOR MULTIPLE CHEMICAL REPORTING VIOLATIONS;
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: U.S. EPA Region 5 Office of Public Affairs

U.S. EPA REGION 5 NEWS
------------------------

Legal Contact: Reg Pallesen
(312) 886-0555

Technical Contact: James Entzminger
(312) 886-4062

Media Contact: Mick Hans
(312) 353-5050

For Immediate Release:  April 29, 1999

No. 99-OPA119

EPA CITES DOW CHEMICAL FOR MULTIPLE CHEMICAL
REPORTING VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES $661,237 FINE

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5
has recently filed an administrative complaint against
Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, MI), for violation of
Federal laws on the reporting of hazardous chemical
releases on three separate occasions.  EPA has
proposed a $661,237 fine.

EPA alleged that the company failed to promptly
report the release of hazardous chemicals to the
proper authorities in three incidents between
November 1997 and October 1998.  The Dow facility
was previously cited for an incident on Aug. 24,
1994, which resulted in an October 1997 settlement
that included a $24,760 fine and an environmental
project to enhance local emergency response
capabilities.

The incidents covered in the proposed penalty:

(1) On Nov. 10, 1997, Dow released 9,100 lb of
methyl chloride when a pressure relief device failed
and plant operators continued with the process.  The
facility reported the incident to the National
Response Center, the State Emergency Response
Commission, and the Local Emergency Planning
Committee about 13 hours after the release, with a
written follow-up report submitted a week later.
Under the Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Comprehensive
Environmental Response Compensation and Liability
Act (CERCLA--commonly known as Superfund), all
releases of methyl chloride above 100 lb must be
reported promptly.

(2) On Sept. 2, 1998, Dow released 10 lb of vinyl
chloride when a chemical reactor was being cleaned. 
The incident was reported more than 7 hours after
the release, with a written follow-up report
submitted six days later.  Under EPCRA and CERCLA,
all releases of vinyl chloride above 1 lb must be
reported promptly.

(3) On Oct. 12, 1998, Dow released 99 lb of ethylene
oxide when a maintenance operator mistakenly
drained a process valve into the plant's chemical
sewer system.  The incident was reported 12 hours
after the release, with a written follow-up reported
submitted 10 days later.  Under EPCRA and CERCLA,
all releases of ethylene oxide above 10 lb must be
reported promptly.

In all three incidents, the chemicals eventually
volatilized and were vented into the atmosphere.  No
injuries to workers or area residents were reported. 

"Compliance with the chemical reporting laws is
critical, because fire departments, hospitals, and
other authorities must have the necessary
information to respond appropriately when a release
occurs," said regional Superfund director William
Muno.  "Public health, as well as the environment,  is
at stake." 

Since 1989, EPA Region 5 has filed 206 separate
complaints for hazardous chemical reporting
violations, resulting in 194 settlements with $4.60
million in total fines and $2.66 million in environmental
projects.

###


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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
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