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Newburyport, Mass. Chemical Manufacturer Settles EPA Hazardous Waste Complaint


A chemical manufacturer in Newburyport, Mass. will pay a fine of $8,750 and spend $26,500 on emergency response equipment for the city, settling EPA charges of hazardous waste violations at its plant.

In September 2006, EPA charged Polycarbon Industries, Inc, also known as PCI Synthesis (PCI), with violations of hazardous waste management laws and regulations. PCI, a manufacturer of chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry, is a large quantity generator of hazardous waste, generating such wastes as solvents, acids and ignitable materials at its Newburyport plant. Specifically, EPA’s complaint alleged that PCI failed to:

- conduct weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage areas and daily inspections of hazardous waste tanks;
- have an adequate hazardous waste training program;
- have an adequate contingency plan;
- comply with hazardous waste tank regulations;
- comply with air emission standards for pumps and valves;
- comply with air emission standards for tanks and containers;
- separate incompatible wastes;
- properly label containers and tanks holding hazardous waste;
- date containers and tanks of hazardous waste;
- keep containers of hazardous waste closed when wastes are not being added or removed;
- maintain adequate aisle space in its hazardous waste storage areas;
- maintain emergency information at hazardous waste storage areas; and
- have an impervious surface for containers of hazardous waste.

“Properly managing hazardous wastes and chemicals is very important to protect peoples’ health and our environment, “said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Following hazardous waste requirements helps prevent dangerous and expensive emergencies.”

PCI, which has come into compliance with the requirements it is alleged to have violated, will pay a cash penalty of $8,750 and will purchase a thermal imager and reverse 911 equipment for the City of Newburyport at a total cost of $26,496. Thermal imagers are used by emergency responders to locate victims and hot spots in burning buildings that might not otherwise be visible. Reverse 911 equipment can be used to deliver messages simultaneously to notify people rapidly in times of crisis such as natural disasters and chemical spills. It can also be used to mobilize personnel.


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