Losurdo Foods settles with EPA over pollutant discharges

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ammonia Management United states environmental protection agency

The facility in Heuvelton, New York manufactures Fresh Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese products
The facility in Heuvelton, New York manufactures Fresh Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese products
Losurdo Foods has agreed to upgrade its cheese manufacturing equipment to reduce the amount of pollutants it discharges.

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced a legal settlement with the company, based in Heuvelton, New York.

Losurdo failed to timely report the amount of nitric acid and nitrates it was discharging over a three-year period. The firm has agreed to pay a penalty of $4,525.

Equipment upgrade

Upgrading equipment will result in a 16% reduction in the amount of nitrate compounds and a 50% reduction in wastewater it sends to the treatment plant each year.

The 16% reduction in nitrate compounds Losurdo will send to the municipal water treatment plant amounts to a reduction of 4,500 pounds.

Losurdo uses nitric acid to clean its process lines. When treated, nitric acid produces nitrate compounds.

Both chemicals are toxic and can harm eyes, skin, the respiratory system and teeth, and can cause significant environmental damage to streams, lakes and rivers.

Facilities that manufacture, process, or use toxic chemicals over certain quantities must file annual reports estimating the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Losurdo Foods failed to timely submit its annual reports for nitric acid and nitric compounds to the EPA in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The Heuvelton water treatment plant discharges the water it treats into the Oswegatchie River.

Clean Air Act violation

Meanwhile, the EPA has settled with UniSea, an Alaskan seafood processor for chemical risk management planning violations.

UniSea had greater than the 10,000-pound Clean Air Act threshold of anhydrous ammonia and more than the 2,500-pound threshold of chlorine, which was found during a 2010 inspection.

The EPA inspection found several violations of the risk management plan regulations and the settlement included a $142,175 penalty.

The Clean Air Act requires that public and private facilities that manufacture, process, use, store or otherwise handle flammable gases and toxic chemicals develop Risk Management Plans (RMPs).

RMPs are used by local emergency planners and responders to protect the public from accidental releases of toxic gases like chlorine, propane, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde.

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