The chemical company Mann Distribution, LLC, located in Warwick, R.I., was charged $200,000 on Tuesday when they plead guilty to violating the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations. The company has also been issued a three-year probation period for the offense and will be asked to issue a public apology.
Mann Distribution, LLC, violated the Clean Air Act by failing to implement risk management facilities for their workers and the community. This is required by plants which store more than 1,000 pounds of Hydrofluoric Acid. The plant has 92 drums of the acid, weighing 500 pounds each, equalling just under 50,000 pounds.
According go the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hydroflouric Acid can have serious long term effects on one’s health. Some of these effects include lingering chronic lung disease, skin damage, fingertip injuries, and damage to the esophagus and stomach.
This video shows 70 percent concentrated Hydroflouric Acid (the same concentration as that stored at Mann Distribution, LLC, facilities) eating through glass:
Tyler Amon, special agent in charge of EPA’s Criminal Program in Rhode Island, told the Providence Journal about the EPA’s Risk Management regulations.
“EPA’s Risk Management Program has a clear purpose — to prevent and prepare for releases of toxic and flammable substances that have the potential for catastrophic consequences,” said Amon. “The sentence imposed by the court underscores the importance placed on protecting workers, emergency responders and communities.”
The charges are based on a 2009 EPA inspection, though it is only just being resolved now. Hopefully, by now (6 years later), Mann Distribution, LLC, has a better system in place to protect their workers.