New Bedford Seafood Company Agrees to Pay $220K EPA Penalty
NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford seafood processing company has agreed to pay a $220,000 penalty in a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA claims that Northeastern Pelagic Group, LLC, also known as NorPel, “violated the chemical accident prevention requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and the hazardous chemical reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act” at its New Bedford plant, according to a release.
The EPA alleged that NorPel failed to file a Risk Management Plan with the organization for the significant amount of ammonia stored at the facility. The EPA also claims NorPel had not “adequately designed, operated, or maintained” its refrigeration system, and that it failed to file a required chemical inventory report in 2015.
“Complying with risk management plan regulations helps companies prevent accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances, including ammonia,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. “These requirements are designed to help protect local communities and the emergency responders who may be called on if there is an accident at the facility.”
The EPA said that once NorPel was notified of the alleged violations, the company was cooperative and took the necessary steps to get into compliance.