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EPA fines baker for ammonia

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The Environmental Protection Agency has fined a maker of cinnamon rolls and other frozen bread products $84,000 for hazardous chemical reporting violations at its Caldwell, Idaho, facility.


Rhodes International Inc. reportedly stored large amounts of anhydrous ammonia without properly disclosing it to the Caldwell Fire Department, Canyon County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the State Emergency Response Commission, according to the EPA.


The company failed to file required inventory forms from 2006 through 2009 in violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, the EPA said.


The EPA described anhydrous ammonia as a pungent, toxic gas that attacks skin, eyes, the throat and lungs and can cause serious injury or death.


Suzanne Powers, with the EPA's Emergency Response Program, said the violation was discovered after Caldwell firefighters and hazardous materials personnel were called about a release of ammonia at the facility on Feb. 1, 2010. Powers said Rhodes used the ammonia in its refrigeration system.


-- John O'Connell



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