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EPA Fines Former Oakland Company for Toxic Release Reporting Violations

Release Date: 7/18/2003
Contact Information: Laura Gentile , U.S. EPA, (415) 947-4227

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Norton Packaging $12,250 for failing to report correctly the amount of toxic chemicals it used at its former facility in Oakland, a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Norton Packaging, Inc., on 3100 East 10th Street failed to file timely reports on the amount of glycol ethers used at its plant in 1998 and 1999, and of xylene used at its plant for the year 1999. The facility used glycol ethers and xylene in manufacturing metal pails.

EPA inspectors discovered the violations during a routine inspection in 2001.

"Facilities that use, store and release hazardous chemicals owe it to the neighboring community and their employees to inform the EPA and the state of their chemical releases and transfers," said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Cross Media Division director for the Pacific Southwest. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

Norton Packaging, Inc. sold its Oakland facility to Cleveland Steel Container last year.

Federal law requires certain facilities using chemicals over certain amounts to file annual reports of chemical releases with the EPA and the state. The reports estimate the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management. Information is then compiled into a national database and made available to the public.

Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Public Data Release, which summarizes the prior year's submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases. For more information on the program, call (800) 424-9346 or visit: . The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including TRI data, can be accessed at: .

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