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EPA gives Lockport firm $140,000 penalty for improper storage of toxic gas

LOCKPORT - Twin Lake Chemical Co. of Lockport will be buying $100,000 worth of hazardous materials equipment for the Lockport Fire Department as part of its penalty for violating federal safety rules.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it also has fined Twin Lake $40,000 for improperly storing and handling 32,000 pounds of phosgene, at its Mill Street plant, where the company uses the toxic gas to produce other chemicals for industrial customers. The EPA said Twin Lake failed to adequately support, secure and label the phosgene pipes and equipment. The company has corrected the violations, the agency said.

Fire Chief Patrick K. Brady said the EPA was given a "shopping list" of hazmat equipment for the department, including chemical-resistant suits, boots and gloves, air monitoring and decontamination equipment. The first order went in Tuesday, Brady said, and delivery of the goods is expected to begin before the end of the year, with the rest of the items expected to arrive during the first quarter of 2017.

Phosgene was the active ingredient in mustard gas, used extensively in World War I combat and later banned from warfare by international agreement.

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