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EPA fines Concorde Garment Manufacturing, Inc. $15,200 for hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 07/07/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Company will also spend $56,000 on alternative energy project at Southern High School
(07/07/08) HONOLULU – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement with Concorde Garment Manufacturing, Inc. to pay $15,200 and conduct a beneficial environmental project for improper storage and handling of discarded solvent-based paints, spent paint thinners, and solvent-contaminated wastes at its Lower Base facility in Saipan.

“This facility had significant hazardous waste management problems,” said Jeff Scott, Waste Division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We are pleased that Concord Garment is taking steps to assist the community through an environmental project”

In addition to the fine, the company will spend up to $56,000 on an alternative energy project that will provide an additional power source at Southern High School in Saipan.

“The alternative energy project at Southern High School will be the first non-residential alternative energy project in CNMI and will serve as a pilot for the rest of Micronesia,” said John McCarroll Pacific Islands Office Manager for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We are very pleased that Concorde Garment has proposed this project at a time when energy prices are soaring and impacting the economy as a whole.”

The contractor for the project will be using a wind powered turbine as the energy source to provide electricity to the school. In addition, the project will be used as a catalyst to develop an alternative energy curriculum at the school, to train students for work opportunities associated with wind power and alternative energy.

Concorde Garment, a subsidiary of Tan Holdings Company, produced clothing at its Lower Base factory from 1983 until 2006. The company failed to adequately label containers of spent solvents and other hazardous wastes. In addition, it failed to train employees to properly handle and manage the facility’s hazardous waste, did not make required hazardous waste determinations, and violated other regulations governing hazardous waste management.

The EPA’s hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label and seal hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have an EPA hazardous waste generator ID number and properly trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can potentially spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment. The hazardous waste must be properly disposed of and transported with an EPA hazardous waste shipping manifest.

For more information on hazardous waste visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm and http://www.deq.gov.mp/.
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