International Mineral Technologies, LLC, doing business as Tetra Micronutrients, of The Woodlands, Texas, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $70,000 to the U.S. for Risk Management Program violations related to the use of anhydrous ammonia at its former Fairbury, Neb., facility, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., an inspection of the Tetra Micronutrients Fairbury facility in February 2010 by EPA noted several violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program regulations.
In July 2011, International Mineral Technologies reached an agreement to sell the Fairbury facility—which produces liquid plant nutrition and dry micronutrient products—to Agrium, Inc., an agrichemical company based in Alberta, Canada.
EPA’s February 2010 inspection of the Fairbury facility noted that International Mineral Technologies, doing business as Tetra Micronutrients, had failed to determine or document the priority order for conducting process hazard analyses; that it had failed to update and revalidate its process hazard analyses every five years; that it had failed to develop operating procedures that address the Risk Management Program requirements; that it had failed to conduct a periodic compliance audit; that it had failed to develop a written plan of action for employee participation; that it had failed to provide all the information required for its level of process; and that it had failed to revise and update its Risk Management Plan at least once every five years.
Under the federal Clean Air Act, International Mineral Technologies was required to take those actions because the Tetra Micronutrients Fairbury facility had about 150,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia on site at the time of the EPA inspection, or approximately 15 times the 10,000-pound regulatory threshold amount.
By agreeing to the settlement, International Mineral Technologies has certified that the Fairbury facility is now in compliance with federal Risk Management Program regulations.
EPA enforces the Risk Management Program regulations of the Clean Air Act with a goal of preventing accidental chemical releases and minimizing the impact of releases or other accidents that may occur. The establishment of Risk Management Programs and formulation of Risk Management Plans helps companies, industries and municipalities operate responsibly, assists emergency responders by providing vital information necessary to address accidents and other incidents, protects the environment by preventing and minimizing damage from accidental releases, and keeps communities safer.