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LAC DU FLAMBEAU – Lac du Flambeau company Petroleum Heat & Power, Inc., has been ordered to pay $15,000 in forfeitures, assessments, fees and costs for failing to comply with emergency planning and community right-to-know reporting requirements that apply to hazardous chemicals at its Thorofare Road facility between 2000 and 2010.
In order to better inform community residents and to enhance emergency preparedness, the Wisconsin Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires facilities with hazardous chemicals present above certain thresholds to report the location and amounts of those chemicals to the local fire department, local emergency planning committee, and the Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Military Affairs.
According to the complaint filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Petroleum Heat & Power, Inc., failed to provide required information about the presence of hazardous chemicals at the Thorofare facility since 2000. As of November 10, 2010, the company is in complete compliance with state emergency planning laws.
"A facility's failure to file the required reports prevents adequate preparation and planning for hazardous chemical releases and puts the first responder community and the general public at risk in the event of a chemical release," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will work with the Department of Military Affairs to ensure that the public is protected through compliance with the law."
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case for the State. Vilas County Judge Neal A. Nielsen III signed the order imposing the forfeitures.