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Lockport company to pay $140,000 for mishandling deadly phosgene gas

A Lockport chemical company was cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act in connection with its use and storage of phosgene gas, federal environmental officials reported.

Twin Lakes Chemical Inc., a chemical manufacturer, had 32,000 pounds of deadly phosgene gas at its Mill Street location when EPA officials conducted a recent inspection there, the EPA reported. Phosgene is used in the manufacture of plastics and pesticides. It is a toxic industrial chemical that is lethal at room temperature, the EPA said.

Federal investigators found that Twin Lakes didn't comply with identifying hazards and failed to "adequately support, secure and label phosgene equipment and pipes." It also failed to adhere to requirements governing equipment safety.

Officials said the company addressed the violations before settling the matter with the EPA. The company certified it's now in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

The settlement includes Twin Lakes paying a $40,000 penalty for the violations and an estimated $100,000 payment to purchase hazardous materials equipment for the Lockport Fire Department.

“Chemical facilities are required to establish risk management plans in order to prevent and prepare for chemical accidents," said Judith A. Enck, EPA's Regional Administrator.  “By taking steps, such as properly labeling chemicals, properly training employees, and providing employee emergency health care, chemical facilities can protect the communities where they are located.”




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