(Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced
Jan. 19 that Hancock Foods, which owns a blueberry processing facility in
Hancock, Maine, has agreed to comply with federal requirements
designed to protect the public and first responders from hazardous chemicals.
to the EPA, its inspectors found potentially dangerous conditions related to
Hancock’s ammonia refrigeration processes. Anhydrous ammonia, an efficient
refrigerant, actually benefits the environment. It’s use, however, must be
strictly controlled because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes and lungs.
Additionally, under certain conditions the ammonia can be flammable.
has worked cooperatively with EPA through this process and has worked hard to
correct its violations," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of
EPA's New England Office. "These air and reporting laws help protect
public health, first responders, and our environment."
will pay $103,613 for its alleged violations of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air
Act and $5,110 for its alleged violations of the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act – or Superfund law.
This is one
of many EPA cases involving industrial refrigeration systems. The EPA started
a national enforcement due to the number of dangerous ammonia leaks occurring with