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U.S. EPA PROPOSES $65,625 PENALTY FOR GENERAL CHEMICAL

 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced it has filed a civil complaint against General Chemical Corp. for violations of emergency notification requirements in connection with the July 26 release of sulfuric acid and sulfur trioxide from the facility, located at 525 Castro St., Richmond, Calif. The complaint seeks a penalty of $65,625.
 "General Chemical failed to immediately notify state and federal emergency responders when the release occurred," said Jeff Zelikson, director of hazardous waste management for U.S. EPA's western region.
 The complaint charges General Chemical with three violations of federal emergency notification laws. The company failed to immediately notify both the National Response Center, as required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, known as Superfund), and the California Emergency Planning and Response Commission, as required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act (EPCRA). Also, General Chemical failed to provide a timely written followup report, as required by EPCRA.
 The release occurred when General Chemical workers were unloading a railroad tank car filled with oleum, also known as fuming sulfuric acid. The pressure within the tank car forced the release of sulfuric acid and gaseous sulfur trioxide into the air. This chemical cloud spread northeast through western Contra Costa County before dissipating over southern Solano County.
 Under CERCLA and EPCRA, whenever 1,000 pounds of sulfuric acid or one pound of sulfur trioxide are released, facilities in California must immediately notify the National Response Center, the California Emergency Planning and Response Commission and the local hazardous materials administering agency.
 Further information on EPCRA and CERCLA hazardous substance release notification requirements may be obtained by calling U.S. EPA's toll- free hotline at 800-535-0202.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Paula Bruin of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1587/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV SU: EXE

TM -- SF010 -- 7417 09/30/93 15:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993
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