MillardUSA: The owners of an Alabama cold store, which suffered three ammonia releases in three years, has agreed to pay a fine of $3,009,855.

Millard Refrigerated Services operated a cold storage facility in Theodore, Alabama, with over 242,000ft² of storage with a refrigeration system using over 190,000lb of anhydrous ammonia. According to the settlement, Millard allowed three releases of ammonia over a three year period. The third release of over 32,000lb in August 2010 sent 32 people to hospital.

The proposed Joint Stipulation of Settlement announced by the Department of Justice covers alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Preparedness and Community Right-To-Know Act.

No injunctive relief was sought under the agreement as the owners had shut down the refrigerated portion of the facility in July 2013 and is currently using it as a warehouse.

Following investigations into the August 2010 leak, the US Chemical Safety Board published a safety bulletin at the beginning of this year based on lessons learned from the incident. Last month, it issued a complementary video based on the incident.

Related stories:

Hydraulic shock caused huge ammonia leak – January 16, 2015
USA: Hydraulic shock is said to have been the cause of an ammonia leak in 2010 at a chicken refrigeration plant that affected 153 workers and sent 32 to hospital. Read more…

CSB publishes ammonia leak safety video – March 28, 2015
USA: The US Chemical Safety Board has released a video detailing key lessons from the release of 32,000lbs of anhydrous ammonia at Millard Refrigerated Services in 2010. Read more…