Friday, January 20, 2017

8-year-old Sailor Righter killed herself after her New Jersey police officer father left his personal .357-caliber revolver loaded and unsecured on a shelf in Stratford, NJ

Camden Co. cop charged after daughter, 8, shoots self

Camden County authorities are investigating the sudden death of an 8-year-old girl in Stratford.

Updated 21 mins ago
STRATFORD, N.J. (WPVI) -- Authorities say a New Jersey police officer left his personal .357-caliber revolver loaded and unsecured on a shelf before his 8-year-old daughter fatally shot herself.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office announced child endangerment charges Friday against Kenneth Righter, of Stratford.

Righter also worked as an assistant firearms instructor.

He has been suspended from the Stratford Police Department.

The girl, Sailor, was found by a sibling on New Year's Eve. Righter's other children were 14 and 17 at the time of the shooting.

Righter's attorney says it's a "very, very difficult time" for the family. He says the charges will be addressed "through the context of the system."

Magellan Pipeline Company, L.P. has agreed to complete $16 million of injunctive relief across its 11,000-mile pipeline system and pay a $2 million civil penalty for CWA violations

Magellan Pipeline Settles Alleged Clean Water Act Violations Related to Spills in Texas, Nebraska and Kansas

Contact Information: 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Magellan Pipeline Company, L.P., for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act related to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel spills in Texas City, Texas, Nemaha, Neb. and El Dorado, Kan. Magellan has agreed to complete approximately $16 million of injunctive relief across its 11,000-mile pipeline system and pay a $2 million civil penalty.

"Fuel spills have real and lasting impacts on clean water for communities," said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Companies need to take the necessary precautions to make sure fuel is transported safely and responsibly. This settlement puts in place important pipeline safety and spill prevention measures that make this industry safer for communities."

“This settlement holds Magellan accountable for multiple petroleum fuel pipeline spills that impacted waterways in three states,” said John C. Cruden, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The terms of the agreement require Magellan to improve training of its staff and monitoring of its pipeline system’s integrity, and increase public transparency about leaks and responses.”

According to a complaint and consent decree filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Okla.-based Magellan is responsible for spilling a combined total of approximately 5,177 barrels of petroleum products in three separate incidents. The complaint alleges that Magellan was responsible for the following illegal discharges:

•           On Feb. 24, 2011, a Magellan owned 18-inch refined petroleum products pipeline ruptured in an area north of Texas City, Texas, and spilled approximately 482 barrels of gasoline. The spill impacted a local watercourse known as Pierre Bayou.
•           On Dec. 10, 2011, two of Magellan’s refined petroleum products pipelines were struck by a third-party who was operating heavy machinery while attempting to clear a hedgerow in an agricultural field near the town of Nemaha, Neb. The strikes resulted in the spilling of approximately 650 barrels of diesel fuel from one line, and approximately 655 barrels of jet fuel and 1,529 barrels of gasoline from the other. The spills impacted a local watercourse know as Jarvis Creek. Cleanup efforts are still underway and will be completed as part of the proposed consent decree.
•           On May 4, 2015, a Magellan owned 10-inch refined petroleum products pipeline ruptured near the City of El Dorado, Kan., and spilled approximately 1,861 barrels of diesel fuel. Diesel fuel from that spill impacted a local watercourse known as Constant Creek.

The consent decree requires Magellan to: (1) complete an ongoing spill cleanup effort in Nebraska; (2) institute an enhanced annual training program for its third-party damage prevention staff; (3) update and enhance company information resources concerning selective seam corrosion; (4) update its integrity management plan; and (5) create a publicly-accessible web page that will report information about certain types of pipeline releases and Magellan’s responses to them.

The requirement to create a publically-accessible web page directly supports EPA’s Next Generation Compliance efforts to expand transparency.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. Information on how to comment on the consent decree will be available on the Department of Justice’s website:

To learn more about this settlement:

For more information about EPA Next Generation Compliance:

Learn more about EPA’s Clean Water Act enforcement:

Matson Terminals, Inc. to pay a civil penalty of $725,000 over federal Clean Water Act violations relating to a September 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor.

EPA settlement with Matson resolves 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor
Contact Information:
Dean K. Higuchi (

HONOLULU – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Matson Terminals, Inc. over federal Clean Water Act violations relating to a September 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor. Matson has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $725,000.

“Dockside facilities must ensure their operations do not pollute nearshore waters,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The Honolulu Harbor spill affected marine life, coral reefs and kept residents and visitors from enjoying the city’s incomparable coastal environment.”

From September 8 to 10, 2013, Matson spilled approximately 233,000 gallons of sugarcane molasses into Honolulu Harbor during ship-loading activities. The spill occurred from a section of pipe that the Hawaii Department of Transportation found was leaking in 2012, and reported to Matson. The molasses discharge killed approximately 25,000 fish in the harbor and damaged coral reefs in the area. Matson no longer ships molasses from Honolulu Harbor.

Today’s civil action by EPA follows a January 2015 criminal action taken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Matson, in which Matson paid a $400,000 fine plus restitution of $600,000 after pleading guilty to criminal charges of unlawfully discharging molasses into Honolulu Harbor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the restitution was divided equally between the Waikiki Aquarium to support coral reef programs and invasive algae cleanups and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to inspire local communities to care for coastlines through beach cleanups.

In 2015, Matson also reached an agreement with the State of Hawaii to cease transporting molasses through Honolulu Harbor, remove the molasses distribution system, pay for re-growing corals that were damaged or destroyed, and reimburse related cleanup costs.

Hancock Foods, Inc to pay $103,613 to settle claims that it violated Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act in its handling of anhydrous ammonia in Hancock, Maine

Maine Blueberry Processor Takes Steps to Better Protect Public Health under EPA Settlement
One of several actions protecting public health in New England
Contact Information:
David Deegan (

BOSTON, MASS. - The owner of a blueberry processing facility in Hancock, Maine has come into compliance with federal requirements designed to protect the public and first responders from exposure to hazardous chemicals, under the terms of a recent settlement with EPA.

Hancock Foods operates a blueberry processing plant and cold storage warehouse in Hancock, where it uses anhydrous ammonia in its refrigeration systems. The facility first submitted a "Risk Management Plan" (RMP) in March 1999. Such a plan is required for all facilities using certain amounts of extremely hazardous substances, including anhydrous ammonia, in order to help local fire, police, and emergency response personnel prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies. The RMP regulations also require facilities to prevent chemical releases by designing and operating their chemical processes in a safe manner.

"Hancock has worked cooperatively with EPA through this process and has worked hard to correct its violations," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These air and reporting laws help protect public health, first responders, and our environment."

In the settlement, Hancock Foods, Inc. agreed to pay $103,613 to settle claims that it violated Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act in its handling of anhydrous ammonia and $5,110 to settle claims it violated the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act – or Superfund law - when it failed to timely report a release of anhydrous ammonia.

The case stems from a 2012 inspection of Hancock Foods in which EPA inspectors saw potentially dangerous conditions relating to the ammonia refrigeration processes. Further, the company failed to immediately notify the National Response Center upon discovering a release of about 300 pounds of ammonia from a refrigeration unit on March 27, 2015. EPA responded to the violations at Hancock in two stages – first ensuring that the CAA violations were addressed in an administrative compliance order, then following up with a penalty action.

Anhydrous ammonia is an efficient refrigerant with many environmental benefits, but it must be used with care because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Ammonia is also flammable under certain conditions. It can explode if released in an enclosed space when there is a source of ignition, or if a vessel holding anhydrous ammonia is exposed to fire. A large ammonia release can spread through the air to impact neighbors.

The Hancock Foods case is one of many that EPA has brought to improve safety at companies that have industrial refrigeration systems. Given the number of dangerous ammonia leaks that have occurred at such facilities, EPA has started a national enforcement and compliance initiative for the next three years to focus more intensely on reducing the risks of chemical releases from various types of facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant.

Other recent cases involving violation of the Clean Air Act's chemical accident prevention requirements at facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems include:

An April 2016 settlement with Penobscot McCrum, a Belfast, Maine potato processing plant, in which the company agreed to pay $60,500 in civil penalties and to spend $83,400 on equipment for emergency responders and on public safety improvements at its facility. Also, the company agreed to contract with responders who had specialized training to safely respond to any future ammonia release, as the City fire department did not have such training.

A settlement with Garelick Farms in Lynn, Mass. to resolve many RMP violations. This Dec. 2015 settlement required payment of a civil penalty of $255,000; performance of a third-party audit to confirm that the company's Franklin, Mass. facility is in compliance with RMP requirements; and the performance of three supplemental environmental projects at a cost of approximately $316,000. These projects will (a) minimize the chances of a large ammonia release at the Lynn facility through beyond-compliance upgrades to its ammonia detection and emergency notification system; (b) improve the Lynn Fire Department's ability to respond to hazardous materials incidents through the donation of emergency response equipment and training; and (c) protect Lynn school children by removing unneeded hazardous chemicals from the high school science laboratory, purchasing lab safety equipment, and providing chemical management training for teachers. The company also spent over $2.5 million to address the plant's safety deficiencies after EPA's inspection in Dec. 2012.

A compliance order issued to Stavis Seafoods, Inc. of Boston, Mass. on Sept. 19, 2016 pursuant to the Clean Air Act's "General Duty Clause." This seafood processing company had a significant accidental release of ammonia on March 23, 2016, which resulted in the death of an employee and temporarily closed down nearby streets. The order required the company (which had discontinued operations at the location after the accident and removed most of its ammonia) to remove all the ammonia and refrain from adding ammonia back into the refrigeration system until the dangerous conditions identified by EPA have been addressed.

On Sept. 30, 2016, EPA issued an administrative penalty order to RBF Frozen Desserts of West Hartford, Conn. for violations of the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause after finding serious safety deficiencies at its frozen dessert manufacturing facility. The facility was located in the same building as a restaurant and theatre. Among the most serious problems was an ammonia pressure vessel with no functional pressure relief system located under a restaurant. An over-pressurized vessel could explode during a fire, releasing toxic ammonia vapors into the restaurant and outside the building. Also, ammonia was leaking from equipment during EPA's inspections. A previous compliance order, issued in August 2014 pursuant to the Clean Air Act's imminent and substantial endangerment authority, required the company to remove the ammonia before addressing the safety deficiencies. When the company was unable to comply with the order in a timely fashion, EPA had the ammonia removed using Superfund authority.

More information:
Clean Air Act chemical accident prevention requirements (
Preventing ammonia releases from refrigeration systems ( (75 pp, 2.8 MB, About PDF)
EPA enforcement alert regarding ammonia refrigeration systems (