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Release Date: 01/06/1998
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1064

BOSTON - The New England office of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that 375 Fairfield Avenue Associates, will pay a fine of $12,300 for improper handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

According to EPA, Fairfield failed to properly mark three PCB-contaminated transformers with PCB markings and/or storage date labels. The area at the Stamford facility where the transformers are stored was not marked to indicate the presence of PCBs, and the storage area roof, floor and walls did not meet federal safety and environmental code.

"Businesses that find toxic chemicals of any kind on their property need to be diligent in following laws intended to safeguard workers, neighbors, and the environment," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England administrator. "Proper marking and labeling of transformers allows firefighters and other emergency response workers to respond appropriately in the case of fire or leaks."

PCBs are no longer manufactured but remain in use as non-conductive, fire-resistant additives to coolant liquids in heavy electrical equipment. They are extremely stable chemical compounds in the environment, and are suspected carcinogens. Exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and chloracne, a persistent skin rash. This action was taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).