Ethanol plant regains compliance following EPA violations, fine

By U.S. EPA | August 08, 2012

Yuma Ethanol LLC has agreed to pay a $5,850 civil penalty and correct violations relating to the storage and use of toxic and flammable substances at its ethanol plant in Yuma, Colo. An EPA inspection of the plant in October 2011 found the company had violated Risk Management Program regulations under the Clean Air Act. By agreeing to the settlement announced August 6, the company has certified that the facility is now in compliance with these regulations.

"These requirements ensure that facilities have up-to-date procedures in place to prevent and respond to releases of toxic chemicals used on-site,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s Enforcement Director in Denver. “Failure to comply with these requirements can leave the public and environment at risk from accidental releases."

Under the Clean Air Act, the Yuma Ethanol facility was required to maintain a risk management plan because it exceeded the 10,000-pound storage threshold for anhydrous ammonia, an extremely hazardous chemical, and natural gasoline, a flammable substance used to denature ethanol. Yuma Ethanol was storing approximately 97,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at the time of the EPA inspection.

This enforcement action will benefit the community, which includes minority and low-income areas. Minority populations comprise nearly half of the residents within a five-mile radius of the facility and 45 percent are below poverty level. Approximately 35 percent of the area’s population is Hispanic.

EPA enforces the Risk Management Program regulations of the Clean Air Act with the goal of preventing accidental chemical releases and minimizing the impact of releases or other accidents that may occur. The establishment of effective risk management plans helps companies, industries and municipalities operate responsibly, assists emergency responders by providing vital information necessary to address accidents and other incidents, protects the environment by preventing and minimizing damage from accidental releases, and keeps communities safer.

For more information on the Clean Air Act and risk management requirements, please visit the EPA website