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EPA Proposes $54,000 Fine Against Florence Company for Environmental Violations

Release Date: 05/29/2003
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

BOSTON - The US Environmental Protection Agency today announced it is proposing a $54,402 penalty against a Florence company for failing to disclose information about hazardous materials on its property, as required by federal law.

The proposed penalty stems from violations discovered during an inspection in January 2002 at Perstorp Compounds Inc., which manufactures melamine formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde molding compounds for the plastics industry.

The inspection and subsequent investigation showed that the company failed to file required Tier II forms, which list specific volume amounts and types of hazardous chemicals that are stored on a facility's property during the prior calendar year. The forms must be filed each year with the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the State Emergency Response Commission and the local fire department.

In this case, the company from 1999 to 2001 failed to provide Tier II forms for formaldehyde, melamine and urea. The company was cited for nine violations, including three for each of the calendar years 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Under federal law, Tier II forms are required when a facility stores more than 500 pounds of formaldehyde on its premises during a calendar year. Formaldehyde is classified as an extremely hazardous substance. For melamine and urea, the Tier II requirement kicks in at 10,000 pounds.

"Given the high toxicity of formaldehyde, Perstorp's failure to share this information with EPA, the local community and local residents is a major concern," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "We hope this case sends a message that it is imperative for facilities to disclose information about hazardous materials they are working with."