The US environmental watchdog alleged that the Cargill run facility did not file the proper reports regarding the chemicals processed at the plants.
“To inform the public and protect communities, EPA requires companies and organizations that manufacture, process, or otherwise use certain chemicals to report this information publicly every year. This reporting is an important part of ensuring that local communities have access to information about the presence of chemicals in their area,” said Deborah Szaro, acting EPA regional administrator.
The EPA said that companies that use certain chemicals are required to provide an accounting to the agency, which is combined into the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and provided publicly for communities and businesses to review under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Cargill’s Swanton, Vermont site involved in the settlement allegedly used compounds of zinc and manganese that should have been reported.
The EPA says that reporting the chemical use and making it available publicly provides an incentive to companies to reduce their use of harmful chemicals and become more environmentally friendly.
TRI tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. US facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment.
A ‘release’ of a chemical means that it is emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal, explained the EPA.