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Warwick, R.I Mall Fined for PCB Violations in Elevator Shafts

Release Date: 11/14/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 14, 2008) – The Rhode Island Mall, in Warwick, has paid $36,100 for violating federal regulations covering the storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).

An EPA complaint alleged that the Mall engaged in unauthorized use and discharge of PCBs in several freight elevators, in violation of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. PCB contamination was identified in the pits underneath the four freight elevators at the Mall, and PCB oil was found at levels exceeding 50 parts per million in the hydraulic fluids at each elevator location.

Under the settlement, Rhode Island Mall will also remediate the PCB contamination in the elevator bays and will come into compliance with federal PCB regulations. Highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls were commonly used in hydraulics (such as elevators) before use of PCBs was banned in the U.S. in 1978. Owners of buildings with elevators need to make sure that their elevator oil does not contain PCBs.

PCBs are persistent in the environment and are suspected carcinogens. In addition, exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and skin rashes.

More information:

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Appropriate ways to manage PCBs (epa.gov/region01/enforcement/tsca/index.html#pcb)

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Basic information on PCBs (epa.gov/pcb)