A South San Francisco food processing plant recently agreed to pay a penalty of nearly $700,000 and make significant upgrades to settle CAA violations.
The announcement was made by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The case stems from two releases of anhydrous ammonia that occurred in 2009 at the food manufacturing plant. As part of the agreement, the company will pay a penalty and will spend about $6 million converting its refrigeration system to a safer technology. The business also agreed to improve its alarm and ammonia release notification procedures.
The first accidental release sent 217 pounds of poisonous gases into the atmosphere.
Six months later, another cloud was released. It resulted in the evacuation of all employees and several neighboring businesses. A number of people working at a nearby business campus sought medical attention.
EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said, “Our goal is to safeguard neighbors and workers by requiring critical improvements to the company’s plant to prevent these industrial accidents from happening again.”