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Facility fined $90,000 for ammonia violations

USA: A Rhode Island cold storage warehouse and ice manufacturing company has been fined $90,000 for failing to implement a risk management plan for its ammonia refrigeration system.

J P Lillis Enterprises Inc, which trades as Cape Cod Ice, was also placed on federal probation for three years.

The company’s facility, located in an industrial area adjacent to a residential area, and in the vicinity of a school, was said to have been assessed for civil penalties by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as far back as 2012 for failing to develop and submit a risk management plan. Since then, the facility, which contains 10,000 pounds (4,500kg) of anhydrous ammonia, is said to have repeatedly been found to contain equipment in need of repair to avoid a potential ammonia release.

Subsequent inspections by EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the East Providence Fire Department found the existence of corrosion on ammonia-carrying pipes and on the facility’s high- pressure ammonia receiver; the failure of corrosion-preventing insulation on the pipes; and inadequate inspection, testing, and maintenance of the ammonia piping and receiver.

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