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EPA CITES FOUR COMPANIES FOR FAILING TO REPORT CHEMICAL INFORMATION

Release Date: 10/21/1996
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1064

BOSTON--The New England office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed penalties totaling $263,433 against four New England businesses for failing to report chemical use information as required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know (EPCRA) law.

The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data allow the public, industry, and state and local governments to make informed risk-based decisions about the management and control of these and other toxic chemicals. The data are used by industries to analyze their wastes and identify areas where source reduction and other pollution prevention activities can be used so that wastes and emissions are minimized. Local governments often use the data in their contingency planning to respond to industrial accidents. TRI data also help the public as well as government agencies to gauge national progress in industry's commitment and ability to reduce toxic chemical wastes.

"It's no accident that New England industry has reduced toxic emissions by 2/3 in the last six years. It's in no small part because the law requires companies to make this information available to the public: And no company wants to be seen as a big polluter. That's why it's so important that we make sure that all companies obey this law." said John P. DeVillars, administrator for EPA's New England office.

Since EPA began tracking chemical use and emissions data, New England companies have reduced emissions by 67%. Connecticut industries have reduced emissions by 69%; Maine industries by 53%; Massachusetts industries by 68%; New Hampshire industries by 80%; Rhode Island industries by 55% and; Vermont industries by 62%.

The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is a large data base of chemical emission information tracked from companies required to report under EPCRA. TRI data, which EPA publishes annually, provides the amount, location, type of emissions released into the environment, and information on toxic waste shipped off-site for further treatment. TRI data covers legal chemical emissions and is used for comprehensive risk-based planning by federal, state and local officials.

The principal purpose of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) is to inform the public about the use of toxic chemicals in a community.

The following is a brief description of each case:

Gould Electronics, Inc of Newburyport, Massachusetts
EPA proposed a $100,000 penalty against Gould, a fuse and fuse component manufacturing facility, for allegedly failing to report, or reporting inaccurately its release and use of certain chemicals. The company did not submit data for ammonia in 1991, 1992 and 1993, and did not report its use of lead in 1991 and 1992. Gould also erred when reporting it use of copper in 1993. This past spring, Gould submitted all missing data that it was required to file with the government.

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (3M) Chelmsford, Massachusetts
EPA proposed a penalty of $133,378 against Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, a heat-shrink tubing manufacturing facility, for late filing of documents on toxic chemicals used at the facility and released to the environment. According to EPA, some of the reports were received three years late. The chemicals for which EPA claims the company failed to report in a timely manner are: decabromodiphenyl oxide, antimony compounds, and zinc compounds.

Instron Corporation of Canton, MA
EPA proposed a penalty of $50,367 against Instron for failing to report its use and release to the environment of dichloromethane in 1992, 1993, and 1994 as required by EPCRA. The company has since filed the missing data. Instron operates a material testing equipment manufacturing facility.

Whitney Blake Company of Vermont, Bellows Falls, Vermont
Whitney Blake faces a $67,066 penalty for failing to report by dates specified in the EPCRA regulations its use and release to the environment of the following chemicals: 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and lead, chromium, and zinc compounds. The company, which manufactures coiled electrical and electronic cords, has since submitted most of the missing data to the government.