Clearwater Paper to Pay Over $367,000 for Failing to Properly Report Releases of Hundreds of Pounds of Chlorine Between 2019 and 2021


SEATTLE, WA – Clearwater Paper Corporation will pay a combined $367,088 in penalties for failing to properly report releases of hazardous chlorine emissions that occurred in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the company’s Lewiston facility had multiple unexpected releases of chlorine gas that resulted in hundreds of pounds of this toxic chemical being emitted into the air. Chlorine is used at the facility to process pulp for paper production.

Some of these releases were large enough to cause evacuations at the facility, and employees sought medical attention after exposure.

“Communities and first responders near facilities using deadly chemicals have a need and a legal right to know when releases occur,” EPA Region 10 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Director Ed Kowalski says. “These are not simple paperwork issues; the safety of workers, first responders, and residents rests on a company’s compliance with these requirements.”

From the EPA:

The company was issued a $84,769 penalty under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and an additional $237,319 penalty under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act for its failure to immediately notify officials and provide timely follow-up reports regarding these releases.

The company was also issued an additional $45,000 penalty under EPCRA, for failure to properly report numerous releases in its annual Toxics Release Inventory reporting.

Additional details are available in the following documents: