Dairy settles with EPA on alleged environmental violations

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: © iStock
Picture: © iStock

Related tags Ammonia United states environmental protection agency

Sunshine Pride Dairy has paid almost $180,000 to settle alleged environmental violations at a former cheese processing facility.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the firm will pay a $179,074 penalty relating to a plant in Winchester, Virginia.  

The dairy shut down cheese processing in December 2011, but left anhydrous ammonia stored in its refrigeration system with a limited maintenance crew.

As part of the settlement, the company did not admit or deny EPA’s allegations.

EPA alleged that in July 2012, the facility did not properly notify emergency response agencies about two releases of anhydrous ammonia into the air. These included one between 100-500 pounds and another of more than 1,500 pounds.

After the second release, the dairy had the remaining anhydrous ammonia drained from the system. 

EPA cited the company for not updating its operating procedures to reflect conditions at the facility, failing to document proper training of its operators as well as maintaining its ammonia processing equipment. 

The agency also alleged the dairy did not report the ammonia to the state, county and local fire department as required on its annual chemical reporting forms for 2012 and 2013.

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