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25 Companies To Be Fined for Missing Emissions Reporting Deadline

December 20, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it plans to levy fines totaling nearly $1.5 million against 25 companies in 13 states for failing to report chemical emissions before a deadline required by a new law.

Almost half the penalties would be accounted for by one plant, Inland Steel Co.’s works at East Chicago, Ind., which was accused of failing to report emissions of 33 different substances ranging from aluminum to xylene.

Inland’s proposed fine was set at $721,000. Spokesman Bob Lefley said in the company’s Chicago headquarters, ″We reported, except we reported late,″ after the July 1 deadline.

″Since this is the country’s second-largest steel plant, it was a monumental task.″ He declined further comment.

The law requiring reports of emissions was passed in 1986 in response to the Bhopal disaster in India two years earlier in which more than 2,000 people were killed by escaping methyl isocyanate, a gas used in making pesticides.

Companies in a broad swath of industrial categories are required, among other things, to report releases to air, water and land of 320 hazardous or toxic chemicals or chemical families. EPA forms were supposed to have been filled out and filed with both EPA and state authorities.

All 25 plants proposed for fines were checked by inspectors from EPA’s regional offices, and penalties were chosen to reflect the size of the company, the number of chemicals that should have been reported, the quantities released and the amount being used, EPA said.

″We’re not talking about a major enforcement action here,″ said Bill Walsh of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an advocacy organization that has kept track of developments in the field. ″There are 15,000 to 16,000 companies that EPA knows of that have not filled out the forms out of 30,000″ that were obliged to.

EPA spokeswoman Alicia Tenuta said she could not confirm Walsh’s figures. However, she said investigators were finding that of companies they looked at, roughly one-third had not complied fully with the reporting requirements.

EPA could have imposed fines of $25,000 per day. The companies have 20 days to notify EPA whether they want to pay the fine, to try to negotiate a lower fine or to contest the fine before an administrative law judge.

Here are the companies and locations of the affected plants, along with the plant’s principal product or line of business, the chemicals whose emissions should have been reported and the fines. The agency did not say how much of each chemical was involved. ALABAMA

The Glamourtop Corp., Birmingham, wood counter tops; toluene, acetone, $34,000. ARKANSAS

Riverside Furniture Corp., Fort Smith, furniture; methyl isobutyl ketone, xylene, toluene, methanol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, $126,000. CALIFORNIA

United States Can Co., San Leandro, cans; lead comppunds, glycol ether compounds, $34,000. GEORGIA

Bio-Lab Inc., Conyers, swimming pool chemicals; phosphoric acid, copper sulfate, $34,000. INDIANA

Inland Steel Co., East Chicago, steel; alumnium, aluminum oxide, ammonia, ammonium sulfate, anthracene, benzene, biphenyl, chlorine, chromium, copper, dibenzofuran, diethanolamine, ethylbenzene, ethylene, ethylene glycol, hydrochloric acid, lead, manganese, naphthalene, nickel, tetrachloroethylene, phenol, phosphoric acid, phosphorous, propylene, quinoline, sodium hydroxide, styrene, sulfuric acid, toluene, 1,2,4-trimethylben zene, vanadium, xylene, $721,000. LOUISIANA

Colonial Sugars Inc., Gramercy, sugar; phosphoric acid, chlorine, $42,000.

Dixie Brewing Co., New Orleans, beer; sodium hydroxide, $25,000. MASSACHUSETTS

Crown Cork and Seal Co., Lawrence, aluminum cans; n-butyl alcohol, glycol ethers, hydrogen fluoride, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, toluene, $126,000. NEW JERSEY

Crown Metal Finishing Co., Kenilworth, metal finishing; methyl ethyl ketone, dichloromethane, xylene, $15,000.

Dexter Plastics Division, Newark, processor of polyvinylchloride; bis(2- ethylhexyl) adipate, di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, $42,000.

Dublon Finishes Corp., Newark, resins and plastics; n-dioctyl phthalate, $5,000.

Honig Chemical and Processing Corp., Newark, chemical salts; sodium hydroxide, $17,000. NEW YORK

Paragon Paint and Varnish Co., Long Island City, paints and varnishes; ethylene glycol, $17,000.

Queens Plating Co., Long Island City, electroplating; sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, $10,000. OREGON

Marlin Boats, White City, power boats; styrene, acetone, $15,000. RHODE ISLAND

Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Co., North Kingstown, machine tools; 1,1,1- trichloroethane, $17,000. VIRGINIA

Aetna Insulated Wire Co., Virginia Beach, insulated wire; dichloromethane, $17,000.

John W. Taylor Packing Co., Hallwood, fruit and vegetable canning; sodium hydroxide, $25,000.

Phil Carter System Inc., Newport News, portable sanitation equipment; styrene, acetone, $10,000. WASHINGTON

Coolidge Propeller Division, Seattle, boat propellers; copper, alumnium oxide, $34,000.

Delta Marine Industries, Seattle, fishing vessels and yachts; acetone, $17,000.

Fluorocarbon Co., Seattle, plastic items; acetone, $17,000.

Middco Tool & Equipment, Spokane, machine parts and electroplating; trichloroethylene, $5,000.

The Dial Corp., Tacoma, chlorine bleach; chlorine, sodium hydroxide, $50,000.

Girard Custom Coaters, Tacoma, wood paneling; xylene, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, $15,000.

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