Respondent is primarily engaged in the production of anhydrous ammonia, urea fertilizer, and urea ammonium nitrate, which includes two ammonia units (A1 and A2), a urea production unit, a UAN unit, and various ancillary units, including a carbon dioxide pipeline compressor station and a hydrogen recovery unit. Respondent produces, processes, stores, or handles more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in multiple processes throughout the Facility. On Tuesday, December 29, 2015, the East and West cold storage tank relief valves lifted resulting from a malfunctioning solenoid valve on a governor oil system causing the ammonia refrigeration compressor to shut down. The malfunction was later determined to be the result of an undersized fuse designed to protect the safety interlock/instrumented system and the associated solenoid valve.

Facility operators, in attempting to restart the compressor to reduce cold storage tank system pressure, observed that the valve between the cold storage tank vapor line and the compressor had not closed as designed which contributed to the release, and upon discovery had to be manually closed. Respondent reported a release of 11,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from the Facility to the atmosphere as a result of the release.

The release of anhydrous ammonia constituted an "accidental release" as that term is defined by section 112(r)(2)(A) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7412(r)(2)(A).

Respondent failed to prevent an accidental release of a regulated substance by failing to ensure the proper fuse size was utilized in the governor oil system. This failure contributed, in part, to the release of anhydrous ammonia on December 29, 2015. Respondent's failure was a violation of 40 C.F.R. § 68.73(f)(3).

Respondent failed to prevent or mitigate an accidental release of a regulated substance by failing to ensure that the motor operating valve between the cold storage tank vapor line and the compressor was fully functional. The valve failed to close properly on December 29, 2015, contributing, in part, to the release of anhydrous ammonia. Respondent's failure was a violation of 40 C.F.R. § 68.73(f)(2).


EPA and Respondent agree that an appropriate penalty to settle this matter is $75,000. Respondent has elected to undertake a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) to mitigate the penalty associated with the alleged violations identified in this CAFO. The initial penalty of $75,000 shall be reduced by two-thirds or $50,000 based on a SEP project being implemented by Respondent. Hence, the Respondent shall pay an assessed penalty of $25,000 to the U.S: Treasury pursuant to later provisions of this CAFO.

Respondent shall undertake a SEP project, described in later provisions of this CAFO, which costs no less than $200,000 to implement.


Supplemental Environmental Project

The Respondent shall spend no less than $200,000 to design, construct, and install fence-line monitoring at the Facility and remote monitoring at two off-site locations (airport and school). The purpose of the monitoring system is to make the Facility aware of catastrophic releases of anhydrous ammonia from the Facility and allow the Facility to track such releases and communicate dangers to surrounding communities and locations where people might be endangered by such releases.



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