Warwick company to plead guilty to violating Clean Air Act

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI)- A Warwick chemical company is expected to plead guilty to violating the Clean Air Act.

Mann Distribution is accused of failing to develop and implement a risk management plan for the large amounts of hydroflouric acid kept at its facility. The plan would minimize the release of the acid and protect workers, the community and emergency crews in the event of a release or fire involving the chemical.

Court documents filed Monday showed that a 2009 inspection found 46,000 pounds of the hazardous material was being kept at the facility. Environmental Protection Agency regulations require a facility storing more than 1,000 pounds of the chemical to develop and implement a plan.

Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound that contains fluoride and is used for industrial purposes. It can cause skin burns, tissue damage and respiratory concerns.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha plans to ask the court to impose a $200,000 fine and order the company serve a 3-year probation.

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