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Merrimack, N.H. Paper Company Will Pay Nearly $19,000 for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 10/12/2007
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. - October 12, 2007) - The Specialty Paper Products Division of Nashua Corporation has agreed to pay a fine of $18,720 to settle a Clean Air Act violation involving failure to update and resubmit its Risk Management Plan (RMP) at the company's manufacturing plant in Merrimack, N.H.

Nashua manufactures custom paper products for various industries. The facility produces coated paper for a wide variety of printing technologies, including direct thermal, thermal transfer, ink jet, engineering, laser, and impact printing. The company uses vinyl acetate, a toxic and flammable substance, as a component in the production of moisture-activated adhesives applied to paper and stores thousands of pounds on-site. Vinyl acetate is toxic by inhalation and ingestion.

“The importance of having updated Risk Management Plans in place can not be stressed enough.” said Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England office. “These laws help reduce any delays in response time and the likelihood of an exposure to people and the environment if an accidental release should occur.”

Examples of information that is important to be updated and resubmitted in the RMP include assurance that the emergency contact is correct and the hazard assessment is reviewed in case process changes had occurred at a facility. The company is now in compliance, after submitting the RMP to EPA two years and five months late.

Over the past several months, EPA has brought enforcement actions against many New England facilities located in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire for failure to complete five-year updates to their RMPs, as required by federal regulations under the Clean Air Act.

EPA has reviewed many facility RMPs and other emergency response plans because of a number of recent large and small chemical releases by local companies. EPA’s New England office intensified these efforts to make sure facilities storing large amounts of chemicals follow procedures for reporting the presence of chemicals and follow steps to prevent chemical accidents.

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