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National Semiconductor Agrees to $220,000 Settlement for Hazardous Waste Violations at South Portland, Maine Facility

Release Date: 11/08/2001
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office (617-918-1014)

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the National Semiconductor Corp. (NSC) has agreed to undertake a $186,000 environmental project and pay a $42,000 penalty to settle charges of hazardous waste violations at its facility in South Portland, Maine. The pollution prevention project will significantly reduce the facility's use of hazardous chemicals.

"We're pleased that National Semiconductor will be investing in this project to reduce its use of acids and other hazardous chemicals," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England region. "While it's better to get it right the first time, the company should be commended for cooperating with EPA and moving quickly to correct all hazardous waste violations at this plant and across the country."

The agreement stems from violations found during an EPA inspection in 1999. The violations included a lack of training for personnel handling and managing hazardous wastes, improper labeling and handling of wastes, and failure to completely assess a new hazardous waste holding tank. The failure of NSC to provide hazardous waste training posed a substantial risk for mismanagement of hazardous waste, which, in turn, could have resulted in the release or improper disposal of hazardous waste.

Since the filing of the complaint, NSC has corrected all violations at the South Portland facility, determined that its tank system meets or exceeds all specifications for the waste it contains, and brought its other U.S. facilities into compliance with the cited regulations.

NSC agreed under the settlement to pay a penalty of $42,120. The company also will install a system at the South Portland facility to reduce its use of hazardous chemicals at one step of its manufacturing process by about 20 percent. At projected future levels of production, this translates to a reduction of about 550 gallons of phosphoric acid, 890 gallons of hydrogen peroxide, and 500 gallons of sodium hydroxide per year. Installing the system and running it for three years will cost an estimated $186,000.