Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Clean Air Act settlement in which North Dakota-based Cloverdale Foods Company (Cloverdale Foods) has agreed to pay a $72,530 penalty. The company has also agreed to improve the maintenance of process equipment to reduce the possibility of an accidental release of hazardous chemicals at its meat-processing facility at 3015 34th Street NW in Mandan, North Dakota. As part of the settlement, Cloverdale Foods has corrected all deficiencies EPA identified in the facility’s Risk Management Program and has agreed to complete two supplemental environmental projects to enhance community safety.
“This agreement will improve the safety of those who live in and visit the Mandan community for years to come,” said EPA Region 8 Enforcement Director Suzanne Bohan. “Cloverdale Foods has not only taken the necessary steps to improve the management of ammonia at their facility, they are also providing training and equipment that will help local fire and emergency personnel more effectively respond to accidents and emergencies across the community.”
This case is part of EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to reduce risks from chemical accidents, and addresses compliance within an industrial sector (ammonia refrigeration) that can pose serious risks from such accidents. Today’s settlement resulted from a 2016 EPA inspection at the facility which revealed violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program regulations related to the management of anhydrous ammonia, including deficiencies associated with safety and emergency contact information, hazard analysis, mechanical integrity, operating procedures, and compliance audits.
In addition to the $72,530 penalty, Cloverdale Foods will spend at least $114,387 on supplemental environmental projects not otherwise required by permits or law. These projects include conducting specialized hazardous material response training for emergency response professionals in Morton County, with a focus on addressing ammonia releases, and providing new equipment to the Mandan Fire Department to enhance emergency and spill response capabilities. This equipment includes self-contained breathing units and masks, specialized coats, pants and gloves, and gas-detection monitors.