Farm Supply Retailer to Pay $54,922 Civil Penalty

   KANSAS CITY, KAN. -  2/26/2011 - ADI Agronomy, Inc., which owns a group of farm supply facilities in southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas, has agreed to pay a $54,922 civil penalty to the United States for chemical Risk Management Program violations at its Ag Distributors retail facility at Kennett, Mo., which sells liquid fertilizer made with anhydrous ammonia.
    EPA Region 7 issued an administrative compliance order to the Kennett facility in July 2010, after an inspection noted eight violations of the chemical Risk Management Program regulations contained in the federal Clean Air Act. Specifically, Ag Distributors failed to establish and implement maintenance procedures to ensure the ongoing integrity of its anhydrous ammonia process equipment, and failed to document that the equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, among other violations.
    As part of an administrative consent agreement issued by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., ADI Agronomy, doing business as Ag Distributors, agreed to pay the $54,922 penalty.
    The Ag Distributors facility in Kennett is subject to the Risk Management Program regulations because it uses, stores, manufactures or handles the on-site movement of 10,000 pounds or more of anhydrous ammonia in its fertilizer production process, the agreement says. Anhydrous ammonia is corrosive, and exposure to it may result in chemical-type burns to skin, eyes and lungs.
    Facilities like Ag Distributors that mix or blend fertilizers using anhydrous ammonia, but which do not sell anhydrous ammonia directly to farmers, must implement the most stringent type of Risk Management Program, known as the Program 3 Prevention Program. Ag Distributors failed to comply with the Program 3 Prevention Program requirements, which require detailed safety precautions, preventative maintenance, operating procedures, and employee training measures.
    Risk Management regulations are intended to help prevent accidental releases of harmful chemicals, and help local emergency responders prepare for and respond to chemical accidents. Failure to have an adequate Risk Management Program and Plan can compromise a facility’s ability to prevent releases and minimize the impact of releases that do occur.
    As part of its settlement with EPA, ADI Agronomy has certified that the Ag Distributors facility in Kennett is now in compliance with the chemical Risk Management Program regulations.
   Source: U.S. EPA