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Pa. firm pays penalty for Md. ammonia releases

SPARROWS POINT — The federal Environmental Protection Agency says a Pennsylvania firm has agreed to pay a $62,130 penalty to settle allegations it did not report ammonia releases as required by law.

The EPA announced Monday that Allentown, Pa.-based Air Products and Chemicals also agreed to discontinue use of chlorine in the cooling process at its Sparrows Point plant in Maryland.

According to an EPA consent agreement, the company did not immediately report ammonia releases of more than 100 pounds as required by law on two occasions in 2007 and 2008. The EPA said one release totaled about 4,000 pounds and the second involved about 2,600 pounds of ammonia.

The EPA says the supplier of specialty gases for manufacturing and consumer health care did not admit liability for the alleged violations.