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Release Date: 04/23/1996
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BOSTON - Union Industries, Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island, faces a $114,603 environmental penalty for violations of federal hazardous waste management laws, the New England office of the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. Union manufactures mailing envelopes, and food and consumer product packages such as paper towels, freezer bags, and bread bags.

According to EPA, Union generates alcohol-based solvents, principally ethanol and propanol. These solvents are used to clean equipment and dilute dyes used to coat the products. The company then either recycles these wastes at its facility in Providence, or ships them elsewhere for treatment.

EPA cited the company for failing to clearly mark, label and keep closed hazardous waste containers. Union also failed to properly inspect and store hazardous wastes, and failed to train facility personnel.

"It is extremely important that companies operating in urban neighborhoods be held to high environmental standards ensuring so that neighborhood residents are safe from environmental accidents and hazards," said John DeVillars, regional administrator for EPA Region 1, New England. "It is incumbent upon us, as environmental regulators, to provide equal access to the protections offered under this nation's laws and to see that residents of our urban centers are not put at undue risk from poorly managed facilities."