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Release Date: 09/29/1997
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617)918-4154

BOSTON -- N.H. Governor Jeanne Shaheen joined EPA-New England Administrator John P. DeVillars, Congressman John E. Sununu and Congressman Charles Bass in Derry today to officially name HADCO as New England's first participant -- and the fourth nationally -- in the EPA's Excellence in Leadership program, or Project XL.

President Clinton formed Project XL in 1995 to allow the EPA, state environmental agencies and regulated sources to develop and implement alternative strategies that replace or modify regulatory requirements, produce superior environmental performance, and promote greater accountability to stakeholders. Under today's agreement, the EPA will allow HADCO to demonstrate that its metal-rich sludge can be safely reclaimed without all of the strict regulatory controls imposed by law and that the experiment will yield substantial economic and environmental benefits.

"Once again, New Hampshire is first in the nation. This time, we are moving ahead with a new process that will take us one step further toward reinventing government for the 21st century," DeVillars said. "Thanks to the all-star cast of EPA, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, HADCO and other stakeholders, we are improving upon our regulations to help companies in the future continue to go green while staying in the black."

"HADCO was one of only eight companies nationwide initially chosen for this program, and only the fourth in the country to sign an agreement," Shaheen said. "It's exciting for New Hampshire to be a national leader in helping businesses save money and protect our water quality at the same time. By remaining flexible in our approach to environmental regulation, we can benefit both our environment and our economy."

"HADCO is an excellent choice for New England's premiere participant in Project XL. Their selection for this pilot initiative is testimony to the outstanding commitment of the company's employees and leadership in finding innovative solutions to environmental problems," said Senator Bob Smith, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "This program will enable companies to reduce their regulatory burden while enhancing the environment. HADCO is a pioneer in this effort, and will pave the way for expanded cooperation between government and the private sector, while providing flexibility in environmental compliance."

"I commend HADCO representatives, EPA, and state officials on reaching this groundbreaking agreement. When a company can demonstrate that it can safely handle production wastes through alternative, less costly, and more efficient means and still meet important environmental standards, everyone benefits," Sununu said. "I hope that the EPA will continue its efforts to allow more firms to participate in identifying such valuable alternatives."

"I am hopeful that the results of the project will confirm that regulatory flexibility can lead to better business practices, while protecting public health and the environment," said Bass. "The fact that this project will be conducted by HADCO, in cooperation with state and federal agencies, proves that businesses and the agencies that regulate them can work together toward the common goal of a stronger economy and a safer environment."

"Project XL allows government to facilitate practices that are good for the environment and good for business. The ramification of this project on our industry can be substantial, as it allows us to use some 'Yankee ingenuity' to expand our recycling of valuable resources at the same or lower cost," said Any Lietz, CEO and president of HADCO. "We envision other businesses joining us in consortium efforts to enhance our economic viability here in the Northeast and show that we want to be good corporate citizens."

"By eliminating cost and regulatory barriers to recycling, other printed wire board manufacturers that now send their wastewater treatment sludge to hazardous waste landfills after treatment will have an incentive to recycle this resource. The direct recycling of this metal-rich material will decrease the need to obtain the metals through the mining of virgin materials," said NHDES Commissioner Robert W. Varney. "In short, the HADCO project fully supports the federal and state goals of waste minimization, pollution prevention, and the reduced demand on our natural resources."

HADCO produces roughly 600 tons of wastewater treatment sludge per year as a by-product of its printed wire board operations. Although this material is currently classified as hazardous waste, the company seeks the flexibility to prove that its waste stream is less toxic, and can be safely recycled by appropriate metal recycling facilities without having to be put through the rigor of the regulatory system. The traditional "delisting" process to remove waste from regulation has historically taken up to six years.

HADCO's sludge is eventually recycled to reclaim the copper. However, because it is currently designated as a hazardous waste, HADCO must first ship this waste to a facility licensed to handle hazardous waste, where the sludge is combined with other wastes to create a blended product that is then recycled for its copper and metal value.