World News

Industry news and insights from Europe and around the World

UK News

Latest news and developments in the United Kingdom

Products

Keep up-to-date with the latest new products and technology

Features

General articles, applications and industry analysis

$72,000 settles ammonia safety case

USA: A seafood distributor will pay a penalty of $72,000 for violating chemical accident prevention requirements following an accidental release of ammonia in 2020. 

Under a proposed consent agreement and final order (CAFO), Northern Wind LLC, a private company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, will settle the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allegations of violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements.

On August 4, 2020, an accidental release of anhydrous ammonia occurred at Northern Wind’s cold storage warehouse and distribution centre in New Bedford. The building and the 12 employees were evacuated with no reported injuries. The ammonia leaked from a faulty isolation valve on the drain of the pilot receiver in the building’s refrigeration system.

The EPA alleges that Northern Wind violated EPCRA Section 312 by failing to timely submit the required Tier 2 form for anhydrous ammonia to the local emergency planning committee, the state emergency response commission, and the local fire department for calendar year 2019. That year, Northern Wind’s facility stored at least 1,050 lb (476kg) of anhydrous ammonia. The Tier 2 reporting threshold for ammonia is 500 lb (227kg). The facility’s Tier 2 report for anhydrous ammonia was due by March 1 of 2020. Northern Wind filed the missing report on August 10, 2020.

The EPA also alleges that Northern Wind violated the General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act by failing to properly identify hazards that may result from accidental releases of anhydrous ammonia using appropriate, industry recognised hazard assessment techniques.

“The thousands of people who live and work near this facility have the right to feel safe from the serious health issues and other consequences of chemical accidents,” said EPA New England regional administrator David W Cash. “This action reduces the risks of chemical accidents in neighbourhoods that already have shouldered a greater share of environmental concerns.”

Latest News

17th April 2024

Daikin’s Crombez elected EHPA president

BELGIUM: Patrick Crombez, Daikin Europe’s general manager heating and renewables, has been elected as president of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).
17th April 2024

Daikin UK moves distribution to Daventry

UK: Daikin UK is to open a new 240,000ft2 distribution warehouse in Daventry in partnership with logistics partner GXO.
16th April 2024

Tesco first with CO2/R1270 refrigerated truck

UK: Tesco is the first company in the UK to use refrigerated vehicles with a German manufactured refrigeration unit using CO2 and R1270 (propene).
15th April 2024

Invertek passes 3 million VFD landmark

UK: Welshpool-based Invertek Drives Ltd has celebrated producing its three millionth variable frequency drive.
15th April 2024

CDL opens Holmes Chapel branch

UK: Air conditioning distributor Cool Designs Ltd (CDL) has opened a new branch at Holmes Chapel near Crewe.
15th April 2024

Nidec to increase water cooling production

JAPAN: Nidec is to increase production of its coolant distribution unit (CDU) production line in Thailand from 200 to 2,000 units per month by June 2024.