District in violation of regulations related to use of chlorine gas as a disinfectant
The Public Water Supply District (PWSD) No. 2, of St. Charles County, Mo., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5,696 to the U.S. for Risk Management Program violations related to its use of chlorine gas as a disinfectant at its drinking water treatment facility in Defiance, Mo.
As part of an administrative civil settlement with U.S. EPA Region 7, PWSD No. 2 has also agreed to spend at least $80,000 on a supplemental environmental project to hire a consulting engineering firm to evaluate the use of non-chlorine disinfectants at the Defiance facility. This evaluation is significant because it could identify safer disinfectant alternatives to chlorine gas, which is highly toxic.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., the agency inspected the Defiance facility in April 2010 and found violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program regulations. The inspection noted that PWSD No. 2 had not filed a Risk Management Plan with EPA at the proper level required by the regulations; that it had failed to document its process safety information; and that it had failed to conduct a process hazard analysis. Under the Clean Air Act, PWSD No. 2 was required to take these actions because its facility’s stores of chlorine gas were above the regulatory threshold amount of 2,500 lb.