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EPA Slashes Penalty for Pennsylvania Metal Plater After Voluntary Disclosure of Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 6/17/1999
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron 215-814-5113

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has dramatically reduced the Clean Air Act penalty assessed against Precision National Plating Services, Inc. because the company voluntarily reported regulatory violations to EPA.

The company would have been liable for a $142,100 penalty if these violations had not been disclosed voluntarily. However, EPA reduced the penalty to $26,700 under the agency’s policy of encouraging voluntary environmental audits and self-disclosure of violations. EPA made the reduction after finding that the violations had been voluntarily disclosed, promptly corrected, and did not pose an imminent threat to public health or the environment.

Prior to its closing, Precision reconditioned diesel engine parts at its Clarks Summit, Pa. plant -- an operation that involved chromium electroplating of engine components. This process is regulated under the Clean Air Act because certain chromium compounds have been shown to cause cancer, respiratory disorders and allergic reactions.

In January 1998, the company informed EPA that an internal audit of its environmental compliance had revealed unintentional violations of notification, performance testing, monitoring and operation, and maintenance requirements of regulations governing chromium electroplating.

AWe encourage other companies to follow this example of promptly disclosing the environmental problems to EPA and correcting them,@ said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.

The EPA audit policy was developed as an incentive to companies to implement self-audits for compliance with all environmental laws. It substantially reduces -- and in some cases eliminates -- penalties for violations discovered and corrected by a company. The policy does not cover criminal violations, or violations that pose substantial or imminent threats to public health or the environment.

For more information on the policy, call the EPA Business Assistance Center at 800-228-8711 or check out EPA Region III’s web site at: