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Ammonia leak leads to $214K penalty

USA: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $214,000 settlement with a Californian carrot producer following the release of over 2,000lb of ammonia from its refrigeration plant.

Grimmway Enterprises Inc were investigated for the release of approximately 2,335lb of anhydrous ammonia at its Arvin facility in August 2019. The EPA inspection found Grimmway failed to notify state emergency authorities and the National Response Center immediately after the release. 

The inspection also revealed that Grimmway did not have the required safety information for equipment, such as pressure relief valves; lacked required safety equipment, such as chlorine sensors or alarms; was missing some required operating procedures for its ammonia refrigeration equipment; and failed to have procedures in place to notify the appropriate agencies about chemical releases.

Grimmway Enterprises Inc were investigated for violations of the US Clean Air Act and the emergency notification-related requirements of two other federal laws at its Arvin, California, facility. The company will pay $214,103 in civil penalties.

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