Monday, May 29, 2017

EPA settles with Pioneer Cold over Clean Air Act violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse (Pioneer Cold), based in Chicopee, Massachusetts, over violations of the Clean Air Act related to anhydrous ammonia handling that was not in line with the chemical release prevention requirements.

“Ammonia refrigeration facilities must remain aware of the risks associated with the use of this chemical,” Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, said. “While ammonia is an efficient refrigerant with environmental advantages, the associated risks mean that companies need to be certain they are operating safely by carefully following federal and state standards.”

The EPA’s citations came from a Massachusetts Department of Environment Protections (MassDEP) referral regarding Risk Management Program regulation concerns. According to the settlement’s conditions, Pioneer Cold will pay $41,000 in fines and spend $322,100 on environmental projects to benefit the community, in addition to spending more than $158,000 to bring its operations into compliance.

“The improvements at Pioneer Cold not only ensure compliance at this facility, but it also enhances the city’s emergency response capabilities to protect all residents and greatly reduces the risk to residents in the neighborhood of release of anhydrous ammonia,” MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg said.

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