A Lockport company has been fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating chemical safety rules for handling the potentially deadly gas phosgene.
The EPA says Twin Lake Chemical, located at 525 Mill Street, has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty for violations, among them hazard identification and equipment safety requirements.
EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck says at the time of inspection, the 35-year-old company was using and storing 32,000 pounds of phosgene - a toxic industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides. At room temperature, it is a deadly gas.
According to its website, Twin Lake also is one of the world's leading producers of phosphorus pentachloride. The company says the pharmaceutical industry requires this material for certain processes, the chemical is used in the production of materials by the agricultural industry and it is also a key ingredient in specialized fire retardants.
The EPA identified several areas of the facility where phosgene equipment was not adequately supported, secured and labeled - in violation of the Clean Air Act. However, the EPA says all violations have been addressed by Twin Lake.
The company also will spend an estimated $100,000 to purchase hazardous materials equipment for the Lockport Fire Department.