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Volume XII, Number 341

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EPA Requires $179K Penalty and Compliance Actions to Fix Unsafe Practices and Inadequate Reporting at Brookfield Chemical Storage and Processing Facility

Contact Information

Mikayla Rumph ([email protected])

(617) 918-1016

BROOKFIELD, CONN. (Aug. 30, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached a settlement with Greenfield Global USA, Inc., based in Brookfield, Conn., for alleged violations of both the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause (CAA GDC) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Under the settlement, the company has agreed to pay a penalty of $179,596 and certify compliance with all its CAA GDC and EPCRA requirements.

"It is unacceptable that chemical warehouses and distribution centers pollute the air our kids breathe and don't disclose their activities," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash."Enforcement actions like this one send a strong message to these companies that deal with dangerous chemicals – they have an obligation to keep the public, and local emergency responders, informed about the chemicals they deal with and ensure they are stored safely in order to protect the communities they are located in."

Greenfield Global USA, Inc. (Greenfield) is a privately owned company that provides chemical repackaging, formulation, and storage services at its facility in Brookfield, Conn. Greenfield stores and processes numerous toxic chemicals at this facility for which it is required to annually report on its releases of the chemicals under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313. The reports are filed in EPCRA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database, which is available to the public. Greenfield also uses and stores chemicals that are considered extremely hazardous substances ("EHSs") and covered under the CAA's GDC, including chloroform, formaldehyde, and sulfuric acid.

The company's alleged violations were first documented during an EPA inspection at Greenfield's facility at 58 Vail Rd. EPA claims that the company failed to design and maintain a safe facility, which is necessary to prevent releases under CAA GDC requirements, and failed to properly submit nine reports regarding certain toxic chemicals to EPA's TRI database for the years 2017 and 2018. Greenfield was cooperative with EPA throughout the inspection and enforcement process.

The facility is located within a half-mile of several retail businesses, two highways, and a residential neighborhood. In addition, the neighboring community of Danbury has several environmental justice concerns, including proximity to hazardous waste and Risk Management Program facilities. The company's storage of hazardous chemicals at the facility had the potential to present a substantial risk to human health and the environment, due to the presence of carcinogenic and highly flammable substances.

This case is part of an initiative to improve safety and compliance at chemical warehouses. Through the initiative, EPA Region 1 has brought several civil and criminal cases against chemical warehouses and published information to assist with compliance.

Background Information

Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act

The goal of the Section 112(r) of the CAA is to prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment. Facilities that fail to comply with Section 112(r) put facility personnel, employees of adjacent businesses, emergency responders, and the local population and environment at risk of harm from such accidental releases.

EPCRA Section 313 Toxic Inventory Release (TRI) Reporting

The Toxics Release Inventory tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment. (A "release" of a chemical means that it is emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal.) The information submitted by facilities is compiled in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). TRI helps support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public. This information is available to the public through EPA's website.

More information:

General Duty Clause Requirements of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act

EPCRA Chemical Inventory Reporting: Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

EPCRA Toxic Release Inventory Reporting

Safety Alert for Chemical Warehouses (pdf) (372 K)

EPA Chemical Warehouse Enforcement Alert (pdf) (759 K)

© Copyright 2022 United States Environmental Protection AgencyNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 245
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EPA

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

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  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
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