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EPA Proposes $17,600 fine against Braintree Manufacturer for Environmental Violations

Release Date: 07/12/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2005; Release # sr050705

The US Environmental Protection Agency today announced it is proposing a $17,610 penalty against a Braintree manufacturer for failing to disclose information about hazardous materials on its property, as required by federal law.

The proposed penalty stems from violations discovered during an inspection by EPA’s New England office in March 2004 at Employ & Ability, Inc., which manufactures disposable instant cold and hot thermal packs and sells medical components, such as pregnancy test kits.

The inspection and subsequent investigation showed that the company failed to file required Tier II forms, which list specific volume amounts and types of hazardous chemicals that are stored on a facility's property during the prior calendar year. The forms must be filed each year with the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the State Emergency Response Commission and the local fire department, as required by the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

In this case, the company from 2001, 2002 and 2003 failed to provide Tier II forms for ammonium nitrate, a reactive hazardous chemical stored at the facility in excess of the 10,000 pound threshold planning quantity. When contaminated with oil, charcoal or other organic substances, or if heated in a confined area that allows high pressure to build up, ammonium nitrate can explode. When heated, it gives off toxic gases of nitrogen oxides. The facility is close to a densely populated area.

"The failure of Employ & Ability to share this information with EPA, the local community and local residents is a major concern," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "We hope this case sends a message manufacturers must disclose information about hazardous materials they are working with."

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