Lube company penalized for not submitting toxic chemicals data
Photo courtesy of Champion Brands

Lube company penalized for not submitting toxic chemicals data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will collect a USD130,243 penalty from Champion Brands LLC, a producer and seller of automotive lubricants, to resolve alleged violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. According to the EPA, the company failed to submit required annual reports listing releases of toxic chemicals at the company’s facility in Clinton, Missouri, U.S.A.

“Communities, particularly those that are already overburdened by pollution, have a right to know about toxic chemicals in their area,” said Wendy Lubbe, acting director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Failure to report such data also prevents governments and industry from using this important information for research, and in the development of regulations, guidelines, and air quality standards.”

EPA’s review of Champion Brands’ records showed that the company manufactured, processed, or otherwise used quantities of toxic chemicals above thresholds that require the company to submit annual reports to the EPA. Specifically, the company failed to timely submit reports for certain glycol ethers in 2016, 2017 and 2018; diethanolamine in 2017; and toluene in 2017.

EPA investigated the Champion Brands facility, due in large part to its location within an economically disadvantaged community. The EPA is strengthening enforcement in such communities to address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of industrial operations on vulnerable populations.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires facilities to report on the storage, use, and releases of hazardous substances. The information submitted is compiled in the Toxics Release Inventory, which supports informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public.