July 19, 2012

Fairfield chem plant fined $93K for reporting lapses

Federal environmental authorities fined a Canadian chemical maker $93,000 for failing to report to state and local emergency responders how it used and stored hazardous chemicals at its Fairfield facility.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday 5N Plus Inc., of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, committed the breach in 2010 when it failed to submit mandated reports covering 2008 and 2009 for chlorine gas, lead and gallium trichloride.

Authorities also discovered 5N Plus was lax in submit accurate inventory reports for lead in 2008 and 2009, and for selenium in 2010.

After the two inspections, EPA said 5N Plus suffered an unintentional release of chlorine gas at its facility that led to areawide evacuations and worker exposure. It has since moved production of gallium trichloride to another unidentified site, the agency said.

The proposed penalty includes $40,500 for failure to file Tier II forms for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and $53,400 for failure to file TRI forms for reporting years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Officials for 5N Plus did not immediately respond Thursday to a phone message.

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