EPA Settles With VTC For Chemical Violations
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 settled an administrative complaint with VTC Inc. (now doing business as PolarFab LLC) in Bloomington, Minn., for alleged violation of federal laws requiring the disclosure of stored hazardous chemicals. The company will pay a civil penalty of $36,800 and perform six environmental projects costing $105,353.
The six supplemental environmental projects are designed to reduce air and water pollution emissions from the facility. The projects range from installation of new equipment that reduces chemical discharges to storm sewers, to reducing the amount of sulfuric acid used in manufacturing.
EPA's December 2000 complaint alleged that VTC, a semi-conductor manufacturer at 2800 Old Shakopee Road, failed to disclose to the State Emergency Response Commission and the Bloomington Fire Department the storage of six hazardous chemicals during calendar years 1997 and 1998. Previously, in November 1996, VTC paid a $34,000 penalty to resolve similar chemical reporting violations for 1995 and 1996.
"All told, more than 120,930 pounds of hazardous chemicals were not reported to the appropriate agencies," said Regional Administrator Tom Skinner. "When facilities fail to disclose the materials they have on-site, emergency responders may not be able to respond as safely or effectively to an accidental release."
Federal law requires facilities to report quantities of certain hazardous chemicals stored on-site to authorities, including state and local emergency response commissions. The chemicals that VTC failed to report are chlorine, hydrogen fluoride, nitrogen, oxygen, propane and sulfuric acid.