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Release Date: 07/24/1996
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office; (617) 918-1064

BOSTON--Charles C. Holt, III, general partner, and Water + Way Properties, a Connecticut limited partnership located in Hartford, have agreed to remove and dispose of properly four electrical transformers that contain oils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today terms of a settlement with the two defendants that includes a cash penalty payment of $12,750 as well as proper transformer disposal. The defendants were found in violation of federal laws governing the safe handling of PCB transformers.

According to EPA, Holt and Water + Way Properties failed to register the four PCB transformers with appropriate fire response personnel, stored combustible materials near one of the transformers, and failed to inspect the transformers for leaks on a routine basis and maintain annual records.

PCBs are no longer manufactured but remain in use as non-conductive, fire-resistant additives to coolant liquids in heavy electrical equipment. They are extremely stable chemical compounds in the environment, and are suspected carcinogens. Exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and chloracne, a persistent skin rash. This action was taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).