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Cambridge Plating To Pay $50,000 For Waste Violations

Release Date: 04/05/04
Contact Information: Contact: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1014

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2004; Release # 04-04-01

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Cambridge Plating, LLC has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine to settle allegations of violations of hazardous waste handling regulations at its Belmont metal-plating facility in 2002. The facility was owned at the time of the violations by Cambridge Plating; in 2003 operations were transferred to Purecoat North, LLC, which is a party to the settlement and has agreed to guarantee the penalty payment.

"This facility has had a history of environmental problems, and they're paying the price," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "But we're seeing signs that the current management is taking its environmental responsibilities seriously, and we hope that these violations are the last that we see. EPA will continue to monitor the facility's compliance with EPA's regulations and orders for the forseeable future."

The case stems from events following a fire at the facility on May 25, 2002. The fire rendered the facility's wastewater treatment system inoperable for over a month, but Cambridge Plating resumed manufacturing operations the week after the fire, thereby generating significant volumes of untreated wastewater.

EPA's complaint alleged that the company failed to properly test and store wastewater containing toxic metals. In one case, liquid hazardous waste was stored in a single-walled tank in the facility's parking lot. The complaint also alleged that the company omitted significant information when responding to an EPA request for data about events after the fire.

Previous EPA actions against Cambridge Plating for hazardous waste and air pollution violations have resulted in several orders and penalties, including $65,000 in fines and more than $350,000 in environmental projects. The previous orders, issued in May and November 2001, and September 2002, required the company to implement a full environmental management system at the plant, implement noise and odor reductions, eliminate chrome plating at the facility, and reduce the company's emissions of TCE (trichloroethylene, a hazardous solvent) by 40 percent. Purecoat has eliminated chrome plating and TCE use, and EPA believes it is implementing other required projects successfully.

Related Information:
Air Enforcement
Metal Finisher's Assistance Program
Toxics of Greatest Concern in New England: Chromium