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Chemical Distributor Settles EPA Suit

Friday, September 2, 2011

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A major chemical distributor in Virginia has agreed to pay a $43,967 penalty and complete more than $200,000 in safety improvements to settle alleged violations of federal environmental laws.

The Environmental Protection Agency settlement applies to Chemicals and Solvents Inc. (doing business as Chemsolv Inc.) and Austin Holdings-VA LLC, owner of two of three properties that make up the facility in question, in Roanoke, VA.



Chemsolv says it ascribes to the Responsible Distribution Process practices of the National Association of Chemical Distributors.

Chemsolv, founded in 1979, represents more than 100 manufacturers of industrial chemicals, silicones, solvents, lubricants, metalworking fluids, and other specialty products. The full-line chemical distributor also operates distribution centers in Richmond, VA; Johnson City, TN; and Rock Hill, SC.

The company admitted no wrongdoing and issued no statement on the settlement.

Containment, Storage, Fire Protection Cited

According to the EPA, the Roanoke facility lacked fire protection, had inadequate secondary containment, and had improperly stored incompatible chemicals.

Other violations concern the company’s failure to:

• Fully implement its risk management program, which is designed to help prevent chemical releases; and

• Submit required documentation to state, county and local officials for the facility’s numerous hazardous chemicals. States and communities use this information to improve chemical safety and to protect public health and the environment in the event of a release.

Safety Upgrades Ordered

The settlement, announced Wednesday (Aug. 31), follows a June 2008 EPA order to Chemsolv to take extensive measures to ensure that its storage facilities complied with industry standards and risk management program regulations. To comply with the order, Chemsolv rebuilt two large warehouses at the facility.

In the settlement, Chemsolv has agreed to pay a cash penalty of $43,967 and to implement two additional safety upgrades that exceed regulatory requirements: (1) installation of a nitrogen blanketing system on 20 storage tanks containing flammable materials at a cost of $153,000, and (2) installation of a dry disconnect system on hoses at the facility, which will eliminate drips and accidental spills during loading and unloading of chemicals, at a cost of $63,000.


Tagged categories: Containment; Distributors; EPA; Health and safety; Lawsuits; Regulations; Solvents

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