On October 11, 2023, EPA announced a settlement with Slack Chemical Company, Inc. (“Slack”) following alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) at two of the New York corporation’s facilities. The settlement includes a civil penalty of $231,300.
Under Section 313 of EPCRA, owners or operators of certain facilities are required to annually submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting Form R (“TRI Form R”) report for each chemical listed under 40 CFR 372.65 that was manufactured, processed or otherwise used in quantities exceeding a certain threshold. TRI Form R reports require information about on-site releases of the chemical into the environment, transfers of the chemical in waste to off-site locations, on-site waste treatment methods, and source reduction and recycling activities. Alternatively, owners or operators can opt to submit a simpler Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting Form A (“TRI Form A”) report when the quantity of the chemical manufactured, processed, or otherwise used is one million pounds or less, the total quantity released, disposed, and treated at the facility is 500 pounds or less, and the chemical is not considered to be of special concern. TRI Form R/Form A reports are due no later than July 1 for the preceding calendar year.
EPA alleges that Slack, which describes itself as a “chemical warehousing, repackaging and distribution company,” failed to submit timely TRI Form R/Form A reports at its Carthage and Saratoga Springs facilities for calendar years 2019 and 2021. More specifically, EPA alleges that Slack:
- Submitted TRI Forms R or A for the chemical’s ammonia, methanol, nitric acid, and toluene at its Carthage facility and a TRI Form R for methanol at its Saratoga Springs facility on May 10, 2021, for calendar year 2019, approximately 10 months late; and
- Submitted TRI Forms R or A for the same chemicals at the facilities on November 21, 2022, for the calendar year 2021, approximately 4.5 months late.
In a news release, EPA stated that Slack has “voluntarily instituted a corporate compliance plan to prevent recurrence of EPCRA reporting violations,” which includes a written procedure listing the steps needed to identify TRI chemicals and their quantities.