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Windsor, Conn. Company to Pay EPA Fine for Violating TCE Requirements
Release Date: 05/11/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617-918-1013)
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Aerospace Testing Laboratories of Windsor, Conn. has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty for violating federal air toxics regulations and failing to comply with EPA compliance and reporting requirements. This agreement settles an enforcement case brought by EPA against Aerospace last September.
Aerospace tests aircraft parts for foreign and domestic companies. From December 1997 to June 2000, the company was not complying with federal air toxics regulations for degreasing machines. Aerospace's degreaser emitted trichloroethylene, or TCE, at twice its legal emission rate. Aerospace illegally emitted an estimated one and a half tons (3300 lbs) or 276 gallons of TCE per year.
TCE is a hazardous air pollutant and a probable carcinogen. Long-term exposure can cause lung, nerve, kidney and liver damage. With EPA's enforcement action looming, the company stopped using the degreaser and eliminated its TCE emissions in June 2000.
In July 1999, EPA issued Aerospace an administrative order requiring the company to comply with the degreaser regulations. Aerospace violated this order and failed to timely provide answers to an EPA demand for compliance information.
"EPA's 1999 order gave the company ample time to come into compliance with regulations, correct its violations, and stop the excess TCE pollution, but Aerospace still failed to comply," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "The penalty in this case should serve as a warning to other companies with degreasing operations to take their compliance obligations – and EPA's enforcement – seriously."
The complaint against Aerospace Testing is part of a larger effort by EPA to focus on the metal finishing and degreasing industry. EPA's assistance program helps to educate companies that use halogenated solvent degreaseing machines about the relevant environmental regulations and the various compliance options. EPA efforts to control pollution by the metal industry stem in part from regulations enacted in 1995 to regulate emissions of chromium, trichloroethylene and other toxic chemicals.
Much of the work with the metal industry is being done through EPA's Metal Finishing Strategic Goals Program, a 3-year-old program that is encouraging metal finishers to meet aggressive pollution reduction goals by the year 2002. The national program was launched in partnership with industry groups, environmental groups and state and local regulators.
Companies that sign up for the program receive compliance and pollution prevention assistance. And, as companies work toward meeting the goals, they'll be rewarded with more flexible regulatory oversight from EPA and state environmental regulators.
More information on federal regulations and how to prevent pollution is available by calling EPA's Office of Assistance and Pollution Prevention, or visit the Web site: www.epa.gov/region1/assistance/metalfinishing.