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United States v. Gibson Wine Co.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20043
Nos. 1:15-cv-1900-AWI-SKO, (E.D. Cal. , 03/20/2017) (Ishii, J.)

A district court denied a winery's motion to strike claims by EPA under CERCLA, the CAA, and other statutes in connection with a release of ammonia that claimed the life of one worker. In 2012, the winery experienced a 284-pound release of anhydrous ammonia from its refrigeration system. A cloud of ammonia formed and the facility was evacuated, and one contract worker died from exposure. EPA filed causes of action against the winery under the CAA and CERCLA for the release and for its delay in reporting the release to the state commission, which is required under EPCRA. The winery filed a motion to strike the Agency's claims under the CAA as inapplicable, and CERCLA and EPCRA as redundant and immaterial. The court found that EPCRA and CERCLA overlap but are not in conflict. Further, the CAA is applicable to the winery as there was sufficient evidence of a release. United States v. Gibson Wine Co., No. 1:15-cv-1900-AWI-SKO, 47 ELR 20043 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 2017) (Ishii, J.).