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Ice manufacturer to pay $182k for ammonia breaches

USA: An ice manufacturer must pay $182k for failing to comply with safety regulations to prevent the accidental release of ammonia refrigerant.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the $182,659 civil penalty settlement with Reddy Ice, the USA’s largest packaged ice manufacturer.

The EPA determined that Reddy Ice failed to comply with Clean Air Act Section 112(r) rules following an inspection of the company’s ice manufacturing facility in Phoenix in June 2019. The rules require that facilities storing more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia are properly designed, operated, and maintained to minimise the risk of an accidental release.

Specifically, the EPA determined that Reddy Ice failed to properly design its refrigeration system to comply with applicable design codes and standards, maintain inspection and testing records on certain equipment, correct engineering control deficiencies related to ammonia detectors, emergency exhaust fans, and alarms, and did not act upon compliance audit findings.

“It is every company’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the law, including critical safety regulations under the Clean Air Act for handling dangerous chemicals like anhydrous ammonia,” said EPA southwest regional administrator Martha Guzman. “Failure to do so can endanger public health and safety, especially for those in underserved and vulnerable communities close to facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems.”

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