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Connecticut Environmental Consulting Firm Pays Fine for PCB Violations

Release Date: 10/01/2009
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – October 1, 2009) - A Hamden, Conn. environmental consulting firm will pay a $23,212 fine for violating federal regulations covering the storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

According to EPA, Facility Support Services, LLC (FSS), failed to conduct proper soil sampling, resulting in PCB contaminated soils being recycled and potentially released back into the environment rather then being treated or disposed of properly.

In 2007, FSS was hired to conduct soil sampling and to complete response at a property in Milford, CT., due to an earlier release of oil from an underground storage tank. As a result of their investigation, FSS was hired to oversee the excavation of the oil-contaminated spill area. FSS then hired a subcontractor to excavate the soils and to provide transportation of the excavated material to a facility to be used in asphalt batch treatment and recycling.

On February 12, 2008, the subcontractor accidently punctured an abandoned underground storage tank during the excavation, releasing about 20-30 gallons of oil. FSS directed that the soils impacted by the new petroleum release be placed in a stockpile and analyzed for PCBs. Sampling of the waste oil came back positive for PCBs at a concentration of 280 parts per million (ppm). FSS relied on analysis of a composite sample in deciding to ship the contaminated soil for recycling.

FSS failed to conduct "in situ" sampling of the soils. In situ sampling means samples collected of the impacted soils prior to excavation. If in situ sampling is not conducted, the PCB regulations require that the soils in question be treated as containing greater than or equal to 50 ppm PCB waste. Consequently, FSS illegally shipped about 24 cubic yards of the PCB regulated soils for recycling.

PCBs are persistent in the environment and are suspected carcinogens. Exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and skin rashes.

More information:

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

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