Bayer CropScience LP has agreed to pay a $37,790 civil penalty to the U.S. to settle allegations that it failed to adequately implement a risk management program aimed at preventing and responding to chemical accidents and releases at its pesticide-manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Mo.
Bayer CropScience LP has also agreed to spend $100,000 on a supplemental environmental project to install a series of air monitors around its facility, located at 8400 Hawthorn Road in Kansas City, Mo., to aid in the detection of any future chemical releases from the plant. The company produces more than 35 million pounds of pesticides at the facility annually.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed in Kansas City, Kan., EPA inspected the facility in August 2007 to determine if it was in compliance with federal risk management program regulations. Under the Clean Air Act, operations such as Bayers must develop a risk management program and submit a risk management plan to assist with emergency preparedness, chemical release prevention, and minimization of releases that occur. Inspectors found that the facility had not adequately implemented those regulations.
Bayer is subject to the risk management regulations because it stores large quantities of regulated substances at its Kansas City, Mo., plant. The substances include ethyl mercaptan, vinyl chloride, phosphorous trichloride, formaldehyde, 2-methyl-1-butene, carbon disulfide, chlorine, hydrogen chloride and hydrazine. The facility processes large quantities of the substances, including up to 5.2 million pounds of chlorine per year.
In a separate administrative order on consent filed today, Bayer has agreed to hire a third-party consultant to conduct a review of all accidents and chemical releases that have occurred at the facility over the past five years. The consultant will develop recommendations to address issues discovered during the review, including potential changes in processes, administration, training, operation, maintenance and staffing, all aimed at making the facility safer.
"EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has declared that accident prevention at large, high-risk facilities such as Bayers is a priority for the Agency," Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. "Bayer has one of the largest chemical inventories in Region 7, and EPA has an important role in regulating the way that those chemicals are safely stored so that the community is protected."