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EPA Proposes $177,000 Penalty Against Chemical Company for Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 10/02/2000
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has proposed a $177,384 penalty against a Bethel, Conn., manufacturer for violating numerous federal and state laws regarding the management of hazardous waste.

According to an administrative complaint signed last week, Vanderbilt Chemical Corp. failed to properly identify, label and store its hazardous waste. In addition, the company failed to properly train its employees handling hazardous waste, maintain an adequate contingency plan and keep required hazardous waste records.

The action against Vanderbilt stems from an August 1999 inspection of the facility in which EPA personnel saw more than 3,000 containers with undetermined contents. About half of these containers were later determined by the company to contain hazardous waste or unknown materials.

"Companies that deal with hazardous waste are responsible for ensuring that the waste is managed safely and within the limits of the law. Vanderbilt's failure to properly determine what kind of waste it was handling is irresponsible behavior that put the public and environment at risk," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator of EPA New England. "This proposed penalty should serve as a warning that EPA takes seriously such violations by companies that handle hazardous waste."

Vanderbilt manufactures oil additives and specialty chemicals for the rubber and plastics industry. It is located at 31 Taylor Ave. on a 100-acre parcel that contains wetlands and is surrounded by industrial, commercial and residential properties.