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EPA Settles with Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc., for Misuse of CCA, Sale of Illegally Treated Wood

Release Date: 10/05/2006
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,

(Atlanta. GA – Oct. 5, 2006)The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc. in Adel, Georgia, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Cook County Wood to comply with FIFRA and pay a penalty of $50,400.

    The violations at Cook County Wood were discovered during an inspection conducted by EPA in August 2005. EPA contends it is a misuse of the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) label to treat dimensional wood for uses not listed on the label. The label does not permit CCA-treated wood to be used to construct poultry houses and trailers to haul animals on farms. In addition, the improperly treated wood is considered an unregistered pesticide. All facilities that produce pesticides are required to register with the EPA. Cook County Wood is not registered with EPA as a pesticide-producing facility.

    Since December 31, 2003, wood treaters are no longer allowed to use CCA to treat wood for many residential purposes and the labels for CCA products were changed to indicate a more restrictive use. This change resulted from a voluntary decision by industry in their efforts to move consumer use of treated lumber products away from wood pressure-treated with arsenic to new alternative wood preservatives.

    EPA has emphasized enforcement actions against facilities that illegally treat wood with CCA in an effort to ensure compliance with FIFRA and the new label requirements. While EPA has not concluded that CCA-treated wood poses any unreasonable risk to the public or the environment, arsenic is a known human carcinogen and, thus, the Agency believes that any reduction in the levels of potential exposure to arsenic is desirable.