Possible Fines and Penalties for Non-disclosure
If you are a manufacturer that works with chemicals, you know there are numerous rules and regulations you must follow to ensure the health and well-being of people and the environment. One such requirement is that you must report which chemicals you’re using, how much and in what way to the industry’s governing bodies.
This type of disclosure encourages transparency and allows consumers to better understand these chemicals and how they might be affected by them. It also helps institutions, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), make sure that you aren’t releasing a harmful level of toxins into the atmosphere, water supply or elsewhere.
There are many regulatory lists to which businesses must adhere and for which they must disclose information. Just to name a few of the more familiar ones:
- Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- SARA 311/312, SARA 313
- TRI Reporting
- Clean Water Act
- Clean Air Act
The above list is not at all inclusive. Keep in mind that individual states and cities often have their own specific enactments as well. For example, California’s Proposition 65 would only affect manufacturers located in or doing business in California.
Although there are so many rules to keep track of and comply with, it’s imperative that you do – otherwise, you might face serious consequences. When it comes to human health and environmental protection, the EPA won’t tolerate any infringements, as they have demonstrated over the years.
Learn from Others’ Mistakes
In October 2016, the EPA reported that a global pharmaceutical company was fined for failing to disclose chemical information. During an inspection at one of the company’s facilities, the EPA determined they weren’t taking the proper measures for chemical accident prevention, chemical safety and risk management under the federal Clean Air Act. Because the company was using ammonia and methylamine – both regulated toxins – in their processes above the standard limit and without proper disclosure, they were given a hefty fine of $190,000.