Dyno Nobel, Inc. ordered to pay $250,000 for failing to notify federal authorities of anhydrous ammonia discharges
U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon ordered Dyno Nobel, Inc. — a urea plant owner near St. Helens, Ore. — to pay $250,000 after the company failed to report a series of hazardous ammonia discharges in July and August 2015. The incident violated section 2013(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Dyno Nobel will serve a two-year probation for the class-E felony.
The St. Helens plant discharged more than six tons of hazardous anhydrous ammonia vapor into the air over a three-day period starting July 20, 2015, according to Dyno Nobel's plea agreement. An investigation showed several failed attempts to restart the plant caused large discharges, which triggered complaints of odor and irritation from Columbia City, Ore. community members.
Dyno Nobel personnel knew the ammonia emissions were occurring. However, no one alerted the authorities at the National Response Center until Aug. 7, 2015, over a week after the initial discharge, according to court records.
Dyno Nobel pleaded guilty to the violation on Feb. 23 of this year.