The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached a settlement with Galliker Dairy Company following alleged hazardous substance regulation violations at the company’s Johnstown, Pennsylvania, dairy products manufacturing plant.
The EPA found that the company was not adequately managing the hazardous substance anhydrous ammonia, used in the plant’s refrigeration system. The company had not adequately trained staff or maintained documentation. The plant did not properly set detectors or alarms and failed to sufficiently protect the system or provide adequate personal protective equipment to staff.
This violates the Clean Air Act’s general duty clause, which requires facilities using hazardous substances to take action to reduce risk. Those facilities must identify and assess the hazards arising from their use of the substances and ensure that they are safely designed and maintained. The clause also requires the prevention of accidental releases and that facilities minimize the consequences of any accidents that do happen. Releases can potentially harm employees and local community members. The act also protects emergency responders addressing any potential releases.
Through the settlement, Galliker Dairy has not admitted liability but has brought its operations into compliance with the regulations. The company will also pay a civil penalty of $35,991.