General Biodiesel issues statement on EPA settlement, fine
After the U.S. EPA issued a release regarding a settlement reached with General Biodiesel over the Seattle-based biodiesel refinery’s failure to report its hazardous chemicals to authorities for emergency planning purposes, Jeff Haas, CEO, issued a statement.
Haas noted the violation and fine was “not based on an incident, accident, spill or any harm to the people or the environment,” but rather the company was late in filing its 2009 and 2010 paperwork with EPA for the “minimal amounts of hazardous materials on-site during our construction and commissioning phase.”
Haas said when commercial-scale production began in January 2011 all reports were being properly filed as part of the plant’s normal operating procedures. A routine plant audit uncovered the reporting error, said Haas, who noted that no other violations were found during the inspection.
The company said it recognizes the potential danger had first responders not been aware, adding that the facility is regularly inspected by, and works with, the local fire marshal to inventory its materials.
“The company cooperated fully with the EPA and has demonstrated extraordinary efforts to improve compliance reporting and, more importantly, to ensure the safety of its community and environment,” the firm stated.
General Biodiesel’s cooperation with EPA led to a reduced fine of $62,985 for the reporting violation.