Massachusetts company fined for spill

The Callahan Company of Walpole MA will pay a fine of $40,000 and undertake two environmental improvement projects to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act and other environmental statutes, according to Environmental Protection Agency information (EPA).

The action with Callahan, a bulk chemical distributor, derives from violations of the Clean Air Act by failing to employ adequate safeguards to prevent and mitigate two releases of acetone -- one of about 1,300 gallons on December 6, 2004, and another of 200 gallons January 14, 2005, EPA said.

Both spills apparently resulted from human error, EPA said. The company was also cited for failing to follow accepted safe operating procedures by failing to give timely notification of the first release to the National Response Center and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

An EPA investigation discovered that the company also violated federal requirements to quickly notify local, state, and federal responders to the potentially-hazardous chemical release.

Under the settlement, Callahan will undertake two supplemental environmental projects that call for the company to make substantial stormwater management improvements to the lower drainage areas of its facility, and to install environmental safeguards to their above-ground tank farm.

Both projects will be at Callahan’s Walpole facility. Together, the projects will cost approximately $317,000, and will provide significant environmental and public health protections.

EPA said Callahan Company was cooperative with EPA during the negotiation process. The civil penalty was discounted to reflect the company’s cooperation and willingness to undertake projects that benefit the local environment.

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