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Bar Harbor Laboratory Faces Fine for Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 10/02/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 2, 2008) - The Jackson Laboratory, Inc., of Bar Harbor, Maine faces a possible EPA fine for violations of state and federal hazardous waste regulations, and for violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

An EPA inspection in November 2006 revealed that Jackson Laboratory had improperly stored potentially explosive peroxide-forming chemicals and wastes in three of its labs. Furthermore, the laboratory violated regulations that require annual hazardous waste training to be conducted for employees with hazardous waste management responsibilities.

In EPA’s administrative order that proposes a penalty of $213,670, EPA also alleges that the laboratory used members of its own Environmental Health & Safety staff to provide “in-house” hazardous waste training to its other employees, but that the staff members providing the training were never properly trained themselves.

Finally, the EPA complaint alleges that Jackson Laboratory also failed to notify the local fire department, emergency planning committee and state emergency response commission that reportable quantities of hazardous chemicals were stored at its facility. This information is used by local, state, and federal officials when responding to specific emergencies and when drafting comprehensive emergency response plans.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued Notices of Violation to the Laboratory for hazardous waste violations in 2003 and 2005. A number of the violations cited in the EPA action are cited as repeated instances of the violations cited by the State.

EPA helps companies meet reporting obligations by offering compliance assistance in every state and has done so since 1991.

More information:

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EPCRA enforcement in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/epcra/index.html)

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Laws relating to Chemical Preparedness and Prevention: (http://www.epa.gov/ceppo)