4 Companies On Guam Reconcile EPA Violations
By Louella Losinio
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Jan. 30, 2013) – Four Guam-based companies have resolved violations incurred after their failure to address reporting requirements under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).
The companies paid $2,000 each and submitted reports to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) website, EPCRA, aka SARA Title III, is a statute designed to improve community access to information about chemical hazards and to facilitate the development of chemical emergency response plans by state/tribe and local governments.
The four companies, namely Goodwind Development Corp. (Dededo, Guam), Guam Waterworks Authority (for the Ugum Surface Water Treatment Plant), Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Guam (Tamuning, Guam), and The Westin Resort of Guam (Tumon, Guam), failed to report to emergency planners the amount of diesel fuel and other hazardous chemicals stored at their facilities, according to a news release from USEPA.
The report submitted to GEPA to address the violation listed the quantities of hazardous chemicals stored pursuant to the EPCRA's Section 312 Tier II reporting requirements.
Failure to submit reports allows USEPA to impose significantly higher penalties as provided by EPCRA. Future violators in Guam, according to USEPA, could face higher penalties.
"Companies must be diligent in providing this important chemical storage information," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "It allows local emergency planners and fire departments to be aware of the hazardous materials used or stored in their communities."
Meanwhile, GEPA has released a fact sheet on EPCRA and Tier II reporting requirements providing Guam-specific information about the submission process.
Under EPCRA regulations, facilities that maintain Material Safety Data Sheets for chemicals used or stored in the workplace must submit a Tier II report for any hazardous chemical in excess of 10,000 lbs, and 500 lbs for certain "Extremely Hazardous Substances," according to USEPA.
As an example, USEPA noted "diesel fuel and propane must be reported if on-site at 10,000 pounds while the quantities for chlorine and anhydrous ammonia, both hazardous substances, are 100 and 500 pounds respectively."
"These reports help communities understand the type of chemicals and potentially hazardous materials in their areas. Ensuring everyone knows how to submit the reports correctly to Guam EPA is critical for our agency and every resident," GEPA Administrator Eric M. Palacios said. "This fact sheet focuses on helping those who must report to do so easily and correctly."
On Guam, facilities are required to submit their Tier II chemical inventories to GEPA by March 1 of the following year.
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