WASHINGTON, D.C. — MFA Incorporated of Columbia, Missouri, and its subsidiary, MFA Enterprises Incorporated, have settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for $850,000 relating to allegations of chemical accident prevention violations.
MFA, which according to the DOJ has a combined inventory of more than 4.3 million pounds of anhydrous ammonia fertilizers at nine Missouri facilities, allegedly violated several requirements of the Clean Air Act's Risk Management Program.
“By bringing MFA facilities into compliance with the Clean Air Act, this agreement will also substantially improve the maintenance and emergency systems that keep MFA workers safe," DOJ Environment and Natural Resources Division acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey Wood said in a statement.
According to the DOJ, per a 2007 plea agreement, MFA had agreed to come into compliance for failing to inspect, detect wear and replace a valve on an ammonia storage tank that caused the hospitalization of a worker. A 2012 inspection found MFA did not comply and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found several ammonia releases that also resulted in worker injuries that went unreported.
In addition to the civil penalty, MFA also must install emergency shutoff equipment at 53 facilities, according to the settlement agreement.