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Release Date: 09/23/1997
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617)918-4154

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to fine 375 Fairfield Avenue Associates of Stamford, Conn. $18,000 for failing to properly label and store two PCB transformers as required by federal law.

The partnership failed to properly mark two PCB transformers and and one PCB-contaminated transformer at its facility with federally required markings and/or storage date labels. Fairfield also failed to properly mark the area where these items were stored, and stored them without an adequate roof, walls and floor. Finally, Fairfield failed to notify the EPA of its PCB handling activities.

"We hope that this penalty sends a message that the improper handling, storage and marking of PCBs will not be tolerated by the EPA," said John P. DeVillars, administrator for the EPA's New England office. "We'll now begin to work out a fair and just settlement with Fairfield that accounts for their past mistakes while preventing any future such problems."

The EPA's regulations under the federal Toxics Substances Control Act govern the proper storage, marking, manifesting and distribution in commerce of PCBs.

PCBs are no longer manufactured but remain in use as non-conductive, fire-resistant additives to coolant liquids in heavy electrical equipment. PCBs released into the environment during fire conditions can be volatilized and converted into even more toxic materials such as dioxin. PCBs are probable carcinogens and are known causes of liver ailments and chloracne, a persistent skin rash.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection referred the case to the EPA after discovering PCB violations at the facility during a 1996 inspection.