BALTIMORE (August 28, 1998) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and FMC Corporation signed a consent order that requires FMC to take corrective actions after the accidental release of a chemical from the company's clomazone herbicide unit in Wagner's Point, Baltimore. The release, which occurred on May 15, affected residents of the Wagner's Point community.
Under a previous order issued by MDE after the release, FMC was precluded from restarting the unit until it developed and received the department's approval of a corrective action plan. The herbicide unit has been shut down since the accidental release. FMC has taken a number of corrective actions and identified several additional measures to reduce the risk of future releases from the unit. MDE has verified the corrective actions taken.
The new consent order requires the company to utilize the services of a qualified independent consultant to review the corrective actions already undertaken by FMC and to evaluate the feasibility of the additional risk-reduction measures identified by FMC. The review and evaluation are to be completed by January 1, 1999. The order also requires the company to perform an evaluation of the other chemical manufacturing processes at the Baltimore plant and to have the evaluation reviewed by the independent consultant. This evaluation is to be completed by March 1, 1999. The company is required to implement the recommendations arising from the review and the evaluations.
"We recognize the concern the Wagner's Point community has over chemical releases, and we believe the measures contained in the consent order are an important step in addressing this issue," said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Jane T. Nishida. "FMC has agreed to review all its manufacturing processes to reduce the risk of future releases plant-wide."
By entering into the consent order and taking corrective measures, FMC may restart its clomazone herbicide unit. Reports and schedules which FMC must submit to MDE under terms in the consent order will be available for public inspection to the extent allowed by law. To further ally concerns on the part of the public about the restart of the unit, FMC intends to provide an opportunity for interested parties to visit the plant to see firsthand the improvements made to the clomazone unit.