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Safeway agrees $268k fine for ammonia violations

USA: Safeway Inc, the US-based supermarket corporation, has agreed a $268,406 settlement over alleged violations of ammonia refrigeration regulations at a manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 2019, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspectors found violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan regulations at the ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing facility. The violations focused on a failure to meet the Clean Air Act’s risk management program requirements for its anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system.

It is reported that Safeway failed to ensure process equipment was constructed, installed, and maintained properly. In addition, its risk management programme failed to implement recommended process hazard findings, did not comply with process safety information requirements and did not have appropriate pipe and instrument labelling. It also lacked document operating procedures and failed to identify management of change procedures.

In addition to paying the civil penalty as part of the settlement, Safeway is addressing the violations at both facilities.

The facility was inspected as part of a national compliance initiative by the EPA to reduce the risk to human health and the environment by decreasing the likelihood of accidental releases at anhydrous ammonia refrigeration facilities and other facilities that store and use hazardous chemicals.

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