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A History of Troubles at Eureka Ice 

March 14, 1994

A failed pipe nipple at Eureka Ice releases 764 lbs. of anhydrous ammonia over 1 1/2 hours.

April 4, 1997

A routine inspection finds that workers had been improperly disposing of anhydrous ammonia into an outside floor drain.

Feb. 2, 2002

Eureka Ice is evacuated after a strong smell of ammonia and chlorine.

Aug. 29, 2002

A county environmental health inspector finds mislabeled/non-labeled Hazardous Waste containers. It also finds that the shop is in good order.

Jan. 19, 2003

An engineer on duty notices an ammonia smell in the plant, then isolates a leak.

March 23, 2003

SHN Consulting Engineers produces a preliminary seismic assessment report. On it is a circle with a half-mile radius around Eureka Ice. It shows the area most susceptible if a substantial amount of ammonia were to leak from Eureka Ice on a day with little wind.

July 29, 2004

A county environmental health inspector finds mislabeled/non-labeled hazardous waste containers, hazardous material inventory missing or not to standard, personnel training program not meeting the health and safety codes.

June 13, 2007

California Dept. of Public Health finds a number of health and safety violations at Eureka Ice including a filthy bathroom, flaking paint, rotted-out walls and large bins on the floor to catch falling ice from the ceiling.

Jan. 14, 2008

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services issues a notice of violation to Eureka Ice. It warns that catastrophic release of ammonia from the EI&CS would present a significant hazard to public health and safety.

Feb. 19, 2008

A county environmental health inspector finds unlabeled hazardous waste containers, open hazardous waste containers, no records of required personnel training and an out-of-date emergency response plan.

July 16, 2008

An inspection by the U.S. Environmental Agency and Humboldt County Environmental Services Division discovers ammonia leaking from an engine room pumper at Eureka Ice. Inspectors note that the posts supporting the roof appear to be inadequate and liable to catastrophic failure. They find caked ice two feet thick on wall. And they say that the preventative maintenance program is inadequate to nonexistent.

Sept. 11, 2008

Humboldt County Dept. of Health and Human Services orders Eureka Ice to remove the anhydrous ammonia system and complete a seismic assessment and fines the company $9.5 million. The company settles with the county for a fine of $10,000 plus an additional $5,500 in agency costs and agrees to fulfill all the conditions of the order.

Oct. 1, 2008

The last of the anhydrous ammonia is removed from Eureka Ice.

Oct. 16, 2008

The Eureka Building Dept. is informed that the roof on the Eureka Ice plant has partially collapsed, compromising the structural integrity of the building.

Nov. 3, 2008

City wastewater treatment workers doing routine inspection at a lift station on Waterfront Drive are overwhelmed with ammonia fumes. Workers at Eureka Ice had been pouring an ammonia solution down the drain. Eureka Ice manager Tom Devere admits to having discharged 20 gallons of the mixture on three separate occasions. The city of Eureka assesses a fine of $10,110.38.

Dec. 1, 2008

The city of Eureka applies for $500,000 from the Headwaters Fund and agrees to contribute another $250,000 in redevelopment funds to purchase and install a new ice system to provide flake ice on a city-owned pier next to Pacific Choice, to be operated by Pacific Choice.

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