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Willands Auto Tech Fined $7,000 for PCB violations

Release Date: 10/15/2007
Contact Information: Daniel Duncan, (206) 553-6693, or Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203,

(Ferndale, Wash. – Oct. 15, 2007) Willands Auto Tech, located at 2040 Vista Drive in Ferndale, Washington, has reached a $7,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve alleged federal PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) violations.

The PCB violations were discovered by Emerald Recycling Service Inc., a Seattle used oil recycler, who received a shipment of 225 gallons of used oil from Willands on February 12, 2007. Willands had not informed Emerald that the used oil contained PCBs. When Emerald examined the oil and found it to be contaminated with PCBs, they notified EPA’s Seattle office on February 16, 2007. The entire amount of oil in the bulk storage tank was then disposed of by Emerald as PCB-contaminated fluid.

According to Daniel Duncan, EPA’s Regional PCB Program Coordinator, facilities that handle used oil need to be aware of their notification, storage, shipping, and disposal obligations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) if the fluid contains PCBs at regulated levels. Facilities can use either a field screening test kit or send a sample of their used oil to a laboratory for analysis to determine if the oil contains PCBs. It’s especially important to make this determination prior to sending the oil for energy recovery or disposal. If the oil is found to have PCBs, the facility should isolate the waste to keep it from further contaminating other used oil.

“The Toxic Substances Control Act is intended to protect human health and the environment from unreasonable risks posed by certain hazardous chemicals,” said Duncan. “It’s important that companies and communities comply with these regulations. If they don’t, they may face potential fines for noncompliance.”

The Willands violations included:

  • Failure to properly mark the contaminated oil container with a PCB label;
  • Failure to notify EPA in advance of the shipment of this PCB waste;
  • Failure to obtain an EPA identification number in advance of the shipment of the PCB waste; and
  • The failure of Willands to prepare a manifest for the shipment of this PCB waste.

Concern over the toxicity and persistence in the environment of PCBs led Congress in 1976 to enact prohibitions on the manufacture, processing and distribution in commerce of PCBs, including “cradle to grave” (i.e., from manufacture to disposal) management of PCBs in the United States.
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Rules governing PCBs and additional information on the toxic substances can be found at EPA’s PCB homepage at: