Northern Pelagic Group pays EPA fine over ammonia violations

Published on
April 9, 2021

New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based Northern Pelagic Group (NorPel) has paid a USD 220,000 (EUR 185,000) fine as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA claimed in a press release NorPel, which maintains a significant amount of ammonia at its New Bedford facility, failed to file a risk management plan with the agency.

EPA also alleged the company had not adequately designed, operated, or maintained its refrigeration system. In addition, NorPel failed to file its annual EPCRA Tier II chemical inventory report for the 2015 reporting year with state and local emergency response authorities.

"Complying with risk management plan regulations helps companies prevent accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances, including ammonia," EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro said. "These requirements are designed to help protect local communities and the emergency responders who may be called on if there is an accident at the facility."

However, after the EPA notified NorPel about the violations, the company was cooperative and “took the necessary steps to bring its facility into compliance with the Clean Air Act, including the filing of its RMP,” the agency said.

In 2018, NorPel agreed under a separate administrative compliance order with EPA to correct deficiencies noted in EPA's inspection of the facility.

NorPel has since come into compliance with risk management planning requirements of the Clean Air Act and "key safety measures" for ammonia refrigeration systems, the EPA said.

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