$1 million fine for Kansas firm in violation of Clean Air Act

A leak of chlorine gas over the city of Atchison, Kansas in the fall of 2016 has led to a guilty plea by MGP Ingredients Inc. and its agreement to pay a $1 million fine for violating the Clean Air Act.
MGP Ingredients is a manufacturer of food, alcohol and cleaning products and was the site of chlorine gas leak.
It occurred when the company received 4,000 gallons of sulfuric acid and inadvertently mixed it into a bank with 5,800 gallons of sodium hypochlorite which resulted in the creation of chlorine gas.
A greenish-yellow fog covered much of downtown Atchison and prompted city leaders to immediately order the evacuation of residents. It resulted in 140 people needed medical attention including some first responders.
A federal grand jury in Kansas City indicted MGP and Harcros Chemicals in March of this year and MGP pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of negligently violating the Clean Air Act. The company will officially be sentenced in February of 2020 and could get probation of up to five years.

“The company believes this resolution is in the best interest of its stakeholders and is ready to move forward after cooperating fully with federal, state and local safety officials for the past three years,” MGP said in an emailed statement to the Kansas City Business Journal. “MGP remains committed to its role as a good corporate citizen and to ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and the communities in which it operates.”

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