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Connecticut Manufacturer Fined for Violating Financial Requirements of Hazardous Waste Law
Release Date: 09/22/2005
Contact: David Deegan (firstname.lastname@example.org), EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017
For Immediate Release: DATE; Release # dd050909
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking a $385,100 penalty from a manufacturer in Bethel, Conn., for failing to meet financial assurance requirements of federal and state hazardous waste laws.
Kanthal Corporation is the first company in New England to be charged under a new federal initiative aimed at making sure companies that handle hazardous waste have the money to properly clean up hazardous wastes units when they stop treating, storing or disposing of such wastes. Kanthal, which closed its hazardous waste unit in 1997, manufactures heating systems, resistance wire and other heating-related materials. It is a subsidiary of Sandvik Inc. of Fairlawn, NJ.
“Failure to maintain financial assurance can have a significant effect on the environment, “ said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Although Kanthal has already closed the hazardous waste unit, it is still important that the company have the proper financial mechanisms in place to ensure adequate post-closure care.”
As a facility that manages hazardous waste, Kanthal was required to comply with requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including to maintain financial assurance for closure and post-closure care of the facility. According to the complaint issued by EPA’s New England office, Kanthal violated four of the financial assurance requirements of RCRA.
EPA began the nationwide effort to enforce financial requirements of RCRA after the agency’s inspector general issued a report indicating that many companies might not be in compliance with laws regarding financial assurance. EPA conducted a review of the files of the Conn. Department of Environmental Protection to determine if facilities in that state were in compliance with the law.
After reviewing DEP’s files, compliance problems were identified for many facilities, including Kanthal. Information indicated that Kanthal was not in compliance with financial assurance regulations in 2003, 2004 or 2005, and was thus required to establish an alternative mechanism for financial assurance, which it did not do. Kanthal had also failed to include certain required items in its reports to show it met the financial test, failed to adjust its post-closure cost estimates for inflation for several years after it closed its hazardous waste unit and failed to update corporate guarantee information.
Kanthal is now doing ground water treatment and monitoring to comply with its post-closure care requirements, according to EPA.