EPA fines Carlsbad chemical company $147,617

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it has fined the Carlsbad chemical import and distribution company Transchem Inc. $147,617 for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Transchem failed to accurately report the total volume of six chemical substances that it imported in 2015 at its Carlsbad facility, states an EPA news release. The company also failed to submit a required notice to the EPA 90 days before importing and distributing a chemical substance subject to a “significant new use” rule.

Company officials did not respond to an email Thursday requesting comment. The chemicals involved were two types of ethanol, two types of acetic acid, benzene and acetone, according a copy of an agreement with the company provided by the EPA. The substance subject to the significant new use rule was 2-ethoxyethanol.

Transchem’s website lists more than 100 chemical products from acetic acid and acetone to triethylene glycol and xylene available for sale to industrial users.

“It is essential that companies accurately report the quantity of chemicals that they import into the U.S., as well as provide notice about these substances when they are subject to significant new use rules, so the EPA can evaluate potential risks to communities and the environment,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman said in the release.

“Companies that do not comply can face significant penalties,” Guzman said.

Chemical importers are required to submit chemical data reports to the EPA every four years under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA uses the data to track imported chemicals and to assess the potential effects on human health and the environment.

The information also can help the EPA determine when the use of an existing chemical in a new way might create a concern for human health and the environment.

Information the agency receives about non-confidential business chemicals is available to the public on the EPA website at www.epa.gov.

Last year the EPA fined a San Diego auto parts company for violations of the Clean Air Act. AutoAnything Inc. paid a $125,000 penalty for selling aftermarket exhaust systems designed to defeat emissions controls.

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