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New Haven, Conn. Waste Oil Recycling Facility Fined for PCB Violations

Release Date: 01/29/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Jan. 29, 2008) - A New Haven, Conn. waste oil recycling facility will pay a $42,075 penalty for violating federal regulations covering the storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Active Oil, Inc. has a permit, issued by the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection, to recycle waste oil. Its permit requires that all waste oil accepted by the facility be sampled for the purpose of identifying any contamination, including PCBs. It is illegal to recycle waste oil containing PCBs at concentrations of 50 parts per million or greater.

In Dec. 2003, Active Oil accepted a shipment of waste oil without sampling it before placing it into one of its receiving tanks. This resulted in the failure to detect PCB contamination that was present in the waste oil. The contamination eventually spread to all three of the facilities receiving tanks and to its bulk storage tank because the tanks are interconnected. Some of the contaminated waste oil was subsequently loaded by Active Oil onto another company's truck as part of a commercial transaction.

The entire facility had to shut down for a significant period of time to address the contamination in its tanks. Active Oils acceptance of the PCB-contaminated waste oil with PCB concentrations in excess of 50 parts per million caused it to violate the PCB storage requirements. Facilities that store PCB waste must obtain EPAs approval. Also, loading the PCB-contaminated waste oil onto another company's tank truck as part of a commercial transaction constitutes an illegal distribution of PCBs.

Active Oil has since remedied the PCB contamination at its facility and is no longer in violation of the federal PCB regulations.

"All waste oil recycling facilities should be careful to ensure that the waste oil they accept does not contain PCBs, said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Federal PCB regulations help ensure that companies handling PCBs protect their employees, the public and the environment from exposure."

PCBs are persistent in the environment and are suspected carcinogens. Exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and skin rashes.

More information:

Appropriate ways to manage PCBs (
Basic information on PCBs (

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