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EPA Waives $73,100 Penalty After Company Voluntarily Discloses Chemical Reporting Violations - Through Self-Audits Seven Mid-Atlantic Companies Avoid $547,000 in Penalties

Release Date: 3/21/2001
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA.--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is waiving a potential $73,100 penalty against Carbone of America Industries Inc. because the company voluntarily disclosed and corrected toxic chemical reporting violations at its plant in St. Marys, Pa.

Acting under an EPA policy that encourages companies to audit their own environmental compliance, the agency’s mid-Atlantic office today announced that it is waiving total penalties of $547,150 against Carbone and six other companies in Pennsylvania and Virginia after they voluntarily disclosed violations of chemical reporting regulations.

“EPA wants to reward responsible corporate citizens who have made good faith efforts to protect the environment. Companies can reduce or eliminate penalties by monitoring their own environmental compliance, promptly disclosing and correcting violations, and acting to prevent future problems,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Thomas Voltaggio.

In June 2000, Carbone notified EPA that during an annual internal environmental compliance audit, the company discovered potential violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, the federal law requiring companies to file annual reports on toxic chemicals.

The law requires companies that manufacture, process or use more than a threshold amount of regulated chemicals to report both routine and accidental releases of these chemicals.

After Carbone, a manufacturer of carbon and graphite products, discovered that it had inadvertently failed to file required reports on releases of polycyclic aromatic compounds from 1995 through 1998, company officials promptly filed the correct reports. The violations involved noncompliance with reporting requirements, and did not involve unlawful releases of toxic chemicals.

EPA determined that the company qualified for a penalty waiver under the agency’s audit policy, which encourages companies to self-police their own compliance with environmental regulations and voluntarily report violations. The policy substantially reduces, and often eliminates, penalties for violations corrected by a company. The policy excludes criminal acts and violations resulting in significant harm to public health or the environment.

EPA determined that Carbone’s reporting violations did not result in any serious harm to human health or the environment. Because the company did not benefit economically from these reporting violations, and satisfied the other requirements of the audit policy, EPA agreed to a complete penalty waiver.

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