2000 News Releases
Reynolds School District Cited For PCBs Violations
Release Date: 12/18/2000
Contact Information: Ray Nye
December 18, 2000 - - - - - - - - - - - - 00-66
Agency proposes $94,550 Penalty for illegal handling of tainted light fixtures
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it is penalizing another Portland-area school district for widespread mishandling of potentially cancer-causing PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). The agency is proposing a $94,050 penalty against the Reynolds School District for 18 separate violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations on PCBs record-keeping, handling, and disposal.
Responding to complaints from school district employees, EPA investigators found significant leaking of tar-like fluid from PCBs-laden light fixtures into and around areas frequented by children and teachers. The EPA discovered that the district empoloyees and contractors failed to catalogue and properly dispose of leaking fixtures to ensure that no PCBs-tainted material contaminated work or school areas.
The PCBs violations occured at the following locations:
- Troutdale Elementary School
- Margaret Scott Elementary
- Haughton Lee Middle School
- Reynolds Middle School
- Reynolds High School
- a district-owned bus barn
- and a district-owned warehouse.
While their use was banned in 1978, PCBs are potentially carcinogenic substances still found in pre-1977 fluorescent light fixtures and other electronic devices. Improper handling and disposal of PCBs are violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires substances that conatin more than 50 parts per million of PCBs be treated as a hazardous substance and disposed of in an EPA-approved hazardous waste site.