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EPA Waives $44,550 Penalty After Company Voluntarily Discloses Clean Air Act Violations

Release Date: 6/7/2001
Contact Information: Donna Heron, (215) 813-5113

Donna Heron, (215) 813-5113

BOYERTOWN, Pa. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is waiving a potential $44,550 penalty against Cabot Corporation after the company voluntarily reported and rectified Clean Air Act violations at the Cabot Performance Materials facility in Boyertown, Pa.

Acting under an EPA policy that rewards companies for strictly monitoring their own environmental compliance, the agency’s mid-Atlantic office today announced that it is waiving total penalties of $345,100 against Cabot and six other companies in Pennsylvania and Virginia after they voluntarily disclosed environmental violations.

In March 2000, Cabot notified EPA that for 37 days between September 1999 and February 2000, a company employee had failed to properly monitor and record the operations of a hydrochloric acid scrubber at its research and development pilot plant. This air pollution control equipment is designed to reduce emissions of hydrochloric acid from the plant.

EPA determined that the company qualified for a penalty waiver under the agency’s audit policy, which encourages companies to self-police their own compliance with environmental regulations and voluntarily report violations. The policy substantially reduces, and often eliminates, penalties for violations discovered and corrected by a company. The policy does not cover criminal violations, or violations resulting in significant harm to public health or the environment.

Cabot Corporation - 7/7/01
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EPA determined that the monitoring and reporting violation related to the hydrochloric scrubber did not result in a significant economic benefit to the company, or any serious actual harm to human health or the environment. Thus, EPA agreed to a complete penalty waiver for the self-reported violations.

The penalty waiver announced today resolves only the Clean Air Act violation reported by the company. EPA, the Pennsylvania Department Environmental Protection and the Montgomery County Health Department conducted a joint plant-wide inspection of the Cabot facility in May, 2000. These agencies are continuing to monitor and investigate the plant’s compliance with federal and state environmental requirements.

For more information on the self-disclosure policy, call the EPA Business Assistance Center at 800-228-8711 or check out EPA’s web site at