Fresno's E. & J. Gallo wine production facility is located on Clovis Avenue near Highway 180. Image via Google Earth
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Federal regulators have reached a more than $407,000 settlement with a Fresno wine production facility over chemical safety violations.
E. & J. Gallo, the world’s largest privately held wine company, will pay a $57,839 civil penalty and spend an estimated $350,000 to reduce the risk of chemical accidents at its facility.
The action is the result of Environmental Protection Agency inspections in 2015 that revealed deficiencies in the plant’s hazard assessment, process safety information, operating procedures, mechanical integrity and emergency response programs and more, according to an EPA news release.
“Facilities that store and use hazardous substances must follow federal requirements to protect communities and the environment from potentially catastrophic accidents,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker in a statement. “Today’s action will bring investment in safety improvements to this Fresno facility.”
E. & J. Gallo Winery addressed all of the identified violations of the EPA’s Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan regulations. The estimated $350,000 environmental overhaul is meant to enhance safety equipment and procedures at the facility. This includes installing new valves and upgrading emergency shutoff switches for ammonia refrigeration systems.
In May 2017, an ammonia leak at the facility at Olive and Clovis avenues led to the evacuation of about 125 workers, reported The Fresno Bee.