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U.S. EPA reaches a $47,500 settlement with Chemical Waste Management for monitoring violations

Release Date: 5/5/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a $47,500 settlement with Chemical Waste Management regarding its alleged failure to conduct monthly monitoring at one of four PCB disposal units at its Kettleman City, Calif. facility.

    The company reported the alleged violations to the EPA in February 2004 and will pay a $10,000 fine and spend $37,500 to purchase emergency response equipment for the Kings County Environmental Health Services as part of the settlement. The Chemical Waste Management facility is the largest PCB landfill west of the Mississippi and disposes of PCB and hazardous wastes.

     "Disposal companies play a key role in the proper handling of PCB waste," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region.  "Compliance with the monitoring and reporting requirements assures that all elements of the disposal facility are operating properly."

    The facility allegedly stopped monitoring one of its leachate detection systems for over three years.  In December 2003 the facility audited its compliance activities while preparing to reopen one of its PCB disposal units in preparation for closure and discovered the alleged violations.  The company resumed monitoring in December 2003.
    More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the United States before the EPA banned the production of the chemicals in 1978.  PCBs were commonly used in paints, industrial equipment, plastics and rubber products.  The EPA banned the chemicals after tests showed that PCBs cause cancer in animals and adversely affect the human nervous, immune and endocrine systems.

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