USA: A company producing dried pasta has agreed to pay a $78,184 penalty for violations of laws related to its use of ammonia in its refrigeration system.

Carla’s Pasta of South Windsor, Connecticut, reached a settlement with the EPA to resolve allegations that it violated risk management requirements of the Clean Air Act and planning/notification requirements of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

EPA inspectors identified several potentially dangerous conditions relating to the refrigeration system during an inspection in August 2014. The refrigeration system uses around 12,000lbs (5440kg) of ammonia.

According to a complaint filed by EPA, the company failed to comply with safety information requirements; adequately identify, evaluate, and control hazards; comply with operating procedure requirements; comply with mechanical integrity requirements; and to have an adequate emergency response programme. The complaint also alleged that the company violated right to know laws by failing to submit a required Tier II inventory of hazardous chemicals for 2011 and 2012.

The EPA has started a national enforcement and compliance initiative to reduce the risks of chemical releases from various types of facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant.

The company has certified that the alleged violations have now been corrected and is now in compliance with these federal environmental laws.