Cape Code Ice to pay $225K EPA fine

By Stephanie Ostrowski | Jan 15, 2013

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - A $225,000 penalty will be paid by a cold storage and ice manufacturing company to settle claims by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating federal Clean Air Act requirements

The EPA alleges facilities of JP Lillis Enterprises, or also known as their business trade name Cape Cod Ice, located in East Providence, R.I., and Sandwich, Mass., failed to implement a required "Risk Management Plan" for ammonia used in refrigeration systems.

The EPA said the company violated the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause which only applies to facilities where extremely hazardous substances, such as ammonia, are present.

To take steps toward prevention of an accidental release, owners and operators of facilities under the General Duty Clause are required to identify hazards and maintain the facility in a safe manner.

According to the EPA, the company did not take any required actions to create and maintain a safe facility towards prevention of an accident or to minimize consequences if a release of ammonia were to occur at their Sandwich facility.

The EPA found the company for failing to: mechanical ventilation, ammonia detectors and an emergency shutdown switch for the machinery room, develop procedures and a comprehensive mechanical integrity program, and train employees to properly operate the system.

Ammonia is flammable and corrosive to the skin, eyes and lungs. Exposure can be immediately dangerous to life and health.

Both Cape Cod Ice locations are less than a fifth of a mile from residential homes and less than a quarter of a mile from retail and office areas.

The Clean Air Act requires a risk management plan to help prevent an accidental release of hazardous substances that can cause serious harm to the public and environment.

This case began after an inspection of the Sandwich facility by EPA in November 2011. Thereafter, JP developed and submitted a risk management plan. The company has put forth efforts to fix issues identified such as the installation of an ammonia detector and plans to install a ventilation fan and an emergency shutdown switch.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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