A Warwick company is expected to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Air Act.
According to the office of U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Monday court filings indicate Mann Distribution LLC – also known as Mann Chemical LLC – will acknowledge it failed to create and implement a risk management plan to minimize the chance of hydrofluoric acid being released from its facility and “protect workers, the community, and emergency and first responders in the event of a release or fire involving the chemical.”
Neronha’s office indicates that at sentencing, the court will be asked to impose a fine of $200,000 and a probationary term of three years for the company. Mann Chemical will also be asked to issue a public apology.
According to the U.S. Attorney, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require a risk management plan – including a “worst case” response plan – be developed for facilities storing more than 1,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid, which is used primarily for industrial purposes and can cause skin burns, tissue damage and respiratory problems.
Neronha’s office indicates that a June 2009 EPA inspection determined that Mann Chemical failed to meet the risk plan requirements which storing 92 drums of hydrofluoric acid – each weighing 500 pounds, for a total of 46,000 pounds – in a concentration of 70 percent.