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Eight Organizations in NY/NJ Step Up To Cut Down Lead, Mercury and PCBs in Their Waste
Release Date: 05/03/2006
(NEW YORK, NY) Four companies in New Jersey, three from upstate New York and a federal lab on Long Island, were recognized today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the newest partners in a national voluntary program whose members have collectively pledged to eliminate over five million pounds of toxic chemicals, including over three million pounds of priority chemicals, by 2008. All of the chemicals considered “priority” chemicals by EPA are persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic in the environment. The new members were greeted today by Agency officials at EPA’s regional office in Manhattan. They join more than 85 individual industrial, state and federal facilities and organizations that have signed up for the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) program.
Comus International and Crystex Composites LlC in Clifton, the Durand Manufacturing Company in Millville and GGB LLC in Thorofare are the new partners from New Jersey. The Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, the Sanmina-SCI Corporation in Owego and Anderson Instrument Company, Inc. in Fultonville are the newest additions to the NPEP from New York. These eight organizations will reduce lead, mercury and/or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from their wastes. .
“Companies that are members of this program are on a mission to minimize the release of dangerous chemicals,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. ”The companies here today have shown that eliminating harmful chemicals from the environment also helps their bottom line. The Bush Administration is committed to the principle that when corporations embrace responsible environmental stewardship they’ll find it beneficial for their employees, their communities and their businesses.” EPA Region 2 covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has the second highest number of NPEP members in the country
Maria Vickers, EPA’s Deputy Director of the Office of Solid Waste, presented officials from the organizations with plaques at the recognition ceremony.
As a mercury switch manufacturer, Comus’s goal is to reduce the amount of mercury used each year by developing non-mercury replacements. Comus pledges to reduce 2,500 lbs of mercury by July 2010, while at the same time increasing recycling to 4,000 lbs. Ultimately, it will eliminate 8,000 lbs of mercury.
Crystex Composites LLC
Crystex will eliminate by December 2008, 12,000 lbs of lead from its leaded glass-bonded-mica used in multiple industries, through product redesign, and the substitution of less toxic raw materials. Crystex will also recycle 5,000 lbs of lead by December 2007.
Durand Glass Mfg Co.
Durand’s goal is to reduce the lead it uses in its glass decorating processes by 80% using lead-free paints, and expects to phase out lead paint by June 2006, ultimately eliminating 24,000 lbs of lead from its final products.
The company modified its equipment and process to reduce the amount of lead powder used in the manufacturing of bearing liner material by 17,000 lbs by the end of last month. It will also increase recycling and recovery of lead to 19,000 lbs by September 2006 by redesigning equipment.
Anderson Instrument Co. Inc.
In January 2006, the company completed the phase out of its mercury thermometers product line, used in the food and dairy industry, and eliminated 500 lbs of mercury per year by replacing it with electronic alternatives.
Brookhaven National Laboratory
The lab will reduce its inventory of transformers containing PCBs, eliminating the use of 2,315 lbs of PCBs by December 2006. Brookhaven will also modify its equipment and technology to reduce the use of mercury by 40 lbs. It will also decrease its lead inventory that is used to shield workers from radiation.
Eastman Kodak’s corporate goal is to have 95% of all new equipment free of lead solder by the end of 2008, eliminating over 1,000 lbs of lead. In addition, Eastman Kodak pledged to reduce the use of methylene chloride by 337,000 lbs through a process and equipment modification that started in December 2002.
The corporation will eliminate 1,000 lbs of lead by December 2006 by substituting less toxic raw material and developing low-cost alternatives for the lead used in its products, with the goal of ultimately eliminating 19,000 lbs of lead.
NPEP members eliminate or reduce their use of chemicals that when released into the environment, can linger for decades. If improperly disposed of, these chemicals can repeatedly cycle through the land, water and air. When airborne, they can cross state and national borders, be deposited on soil and water bodies, and settle in sediments. Ultimately, people may consume the chemicals stored in the fat reserves of living organisms. These chemicals, in part, account for the prevalence of fish advisories due to mercury contamination.
For more information on the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities to make a better and safer environment visit https://www.epa.gov/wastemin/.
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