A Fairfield, Conn. company that develops and produces specialty metal and chemical products will pay a $13,250 penalty and purchase at least $47,900 worth of equipment for the Fairfield fire department to settle claims that it violated environmental right-to-know requirements.
According to a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 5N Plus Inc. allegedly violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) by failing to report hazardous chemical inventories to the local fire department and to other emergency responders. The company also failed to report the use and potential release of the toxic chemicals, lead and selenium, under the Toxic Release Inventory, a national database of toxic chemical use available to the public.
"The company’s failure to report and file appropriate forms deprives the community of its right to know about chemicals present in the neighborhood," EPA said in a statement. "This failure also prevents emergency responders from being aware of hazardous chemicals at the facility in the case of an emergency."
As part of the settlement, the company will purchase emergency response equipment for use by the Fairfield Fire Department and the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident emergency response teams. This equipment includes a multifunction utility vehicle, a skid unit, a trailer for the utility vehicle, hazardous material detection devices and calibration aids.
The utility vehicle will be used to help emergency responders address large impacted areas and will also help in distribution of emergency response equipment and protective clothing. The vehicle will also help emergency responders get to areas not accessible by standard vehicles. Also as part of the agreement, 5N Plus certified that it is in compliance with the federal law.