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Stavis Seafoods reached an agreement with EPA related to a chemical accident causing a worker's death.

Stavis will have to pay USD 700,000 for chemical accident prevention breaches

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Friday, October 26, 2018, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

Seafood distribution company Stavis Seafoods, operating in Boston, Massachusetts, will have to pay USD 700,000 under settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for alleged chemical accident prevention violations.

According to EPA, the company violated federal environmental laws relating to the use of anhydrous ammonia, sulfuric acid, which led to an accidental ammonia release in 2016, when an employee died.

Under the settlement filed, the firm has agreed to pay civil penalties and the settlement agreement resolves claims in a Complaint filed by the US Department of Justice on behalf of EPA simultaneously with the settlement, including failure to comply with accident prevention and mitigation provisions of the Clean Air Act, hazardous chemical reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and chemical release notification requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

            

            EPA Regional Administrator for New England, Alexandra Dunn. (Photo: EPA)

"Facilities that use hazardous substances, including anhydrous ammonia and sulfuric acid, have an obligation to carefully follow safety standards designed to protect nearby communities," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn.

The alleged violations include Stavis's failure to comply with the "general duty clause" of the Clean Air Act, under which facilities using hazardous chemicals must identify hazards, design and maintain the facility in a safe manner by taking action to prevent accidental releases, and take steps to minimize the consequences of any accidental releases that do occur.

Other violations alleged in the Complaint include the failure to notify national emergency response authorities about the ammonia release and failure to submit hazardous chemical inventory forms to state and local emergency response agencies.

Following the release, Stavis removed the remaining ammonia from the facility in accordance with a compliance order issued by EPA. No injunctive relief was required since the facility is no longer in operation. Stavis fully cooperated with EPA throughout the enforcement process.

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