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PA CONT. FINED FOR VIO. OF THE RESOURCE CONSER. AND REC. ACT

Release Date: 10/4/96
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PA CONT. FINED FOR VIO. OF THE RESOURCE CONSER. AND REC. ACT

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1996

CONTRACTOR FINED FOR VIOLATIONS
OF THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT

On Sept. 27, Persheild Inc., a defunct Sweetwater, Tenn., corporation which manufactured chemical warfare suit hoods for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) was ordered to pay $400,000 in fines and restitution to the federal government for illegally storing hazardous wastes in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The company also made a false claim for payment for defective protective clothing which it had provided to DOD. During the manufacturing process, Pershield used a glue called "lute" to seal the stitching used to assemble the chemical warfare suit hoods. Glue applicator guns and glue lines used to apply the lute were cleaned once or twice daily with pure toluene to keep them functional. The RCRA charges against Pershield arose from the fact that Pershield employees dumped waste toluene mixture on the ground and stored it in 55-gallon drums, rather than dispose of it properly. Pershield was an American Subsidiary of an Israeli corporation known as Rabintex Ltd. As part of the plea agreement, Rabintex agreed to guarantee the payment of the restitution and fine by Pershield. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service and the FBI. Laboratory assistance for sampling and analysis was provided by the EPA Region 4 Environmental Services Division.

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