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Monday, June 21, 2021

Two Kansas Companies Fined $1 Million Each In Atchison Chlorine Gas Case

TOPEKA, KAN. – Harcros Chemicals, Inc., and MGP Ingredients, Inc., today were fined $1 million each for violating the federal Clean Air Act when a cloud of toxic chlorine gas was released over Atchison, Kan., in 2016, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. Both companies have paid the fines.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree sentenced the companies during a hearing in federal court in Topeka today. Both companies pleaded guilty to negligently violating the Clean Air Act, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

In their pleas, they admitted that on Oct. 21, 2016, a greenish-yellow chlorine gas cloud formed at MGP Ingredients’ facility in Atchison when 4,000 gallons of sulfuric acid were mistakenly combined with 5,800 gallons of sodium hypochlorite. The Atchison County Department of Emergency Management ordered community members to shelter in place and to evacuate in some areas. Approximately 140 individuals including members of the public, first responders, employees of MGP Ingredients and Harcos Chemicals sought medical attention.

“The chemicals involved in this case posed serious public health and environmental dangers,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Cate Holston of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Kansas.  “EPA and its law enforcement partners are committed to holding responsible parties accountable for actions that put an entire community at risk.”

McAllister commended the Environmental Protection Agency and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway for their work on the case.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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