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U.S. EPA Waives $124,000 Penalty After Lab Discloses Environmental Violations
Release Date: 8/11/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, U.S. EPA, (213) 244-1815
LOS ANGELES The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently waived a $123,541 penalty against Paragon Laboratories, based in Torrance, Calif., after the firm self-disclosed, and corrected, its violations of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act release reporting requirements.
"We applaud Paragon Laboratories for its swift and responsible action," said Enrique Manzanilla, EPA's Cross Media division director for the Pacific Southwest Region. "We encourage other firms to do the same."
After conducting a voluntary audit, Paragon Laboratories discovered and promptly disclosed to the EPA its failure to submit required reports on the release of methanol and dichloromethane at its Torrance facility between 1998 and 2001. Paragon Laboratories corrected these violations by submitting the required reports within 90 days of this discovery.
According to the EPA, the violations warranted a $123,541 penalty; however, under EPA's Small Business Policy, the EPA may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered, promptly disclosed to the agency and quickly corrected.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires annual reports to the EPA and the state from facilities that use or manufacture certain toxic chemicals over a specified amount. The reports provide estimates of the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on site, or transferred off-site to another facility.
More information about the Small Business Policy can be found at: www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/smallbusiness/index