Jun 04, 2007

Friendly’s Ice Cream Fined for Massachusetts Acid Spill

Friendly Ice Cream Corp must pay a fine of $5,000 for a sulfuric acid spill last December, as well as other contributions to the cities of Springfield and Wilbraham in Massachusetts.

The Republican reports that the state Department of Environmental Protection reported that it levied a penalty amounting to $21,825, with $5,000 already paid by the company, and the remainder to be spent on retraining treatment plant staff on spill reporting, hosting a free spill reporting seminar for businesses statewide, and $4,000 to upgrade Wilbraham's emergency dispatch system.

The company is also required to purchase $1,800 worth of equipment for the Springfield Fire Department and present a case study of the spill at quarterly meetings of the Wilbraham and Springfield local emergency planning commissions.

Last December, about 440 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled into a concrete containment after a vendor overfilled a storage tank at the company's wastewater treatment facility.

According to The Republican, Friendly's treatment plant operator was aware of the spill but did not report it to management or to the state within the two hours required by state.

The operator notified company managers of the spill the next day, and the company completed a cleanup of the spill in a timely manner.

Michael P. St. Marie, vice president of production and distribution operations at Friendly, told The Republican that the error was a human mistake the company’s goal is make sure all of the company’s personnel are trained and retrained on the regulations.