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Springfield Company Agrees to Pay $15,500 To Settle Claims of Chromium Plating Violations

Release Date: 11/27/2000
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that a Springfield, Mass. company that puts decorative plating on metal parts has agreed to pay a $15,510 fine to settle claims that it violated work practice requirements of the federal law regulating chromium.

EPA's New England Office last year ordered the Berkshire Manufacturing Corp. to comply with federal chromium standards. The order stemmed from an EPA inspection in 1998, which found that Berkshire Manufacturing did not have an operations and maintenance plan to use as a guide to ensure that chrome is not released into the atmosphere.

Berkshire Manufacturing puts chrome plating on various metal parts for the medical, electrical, plumbing and automotive industries. The company owns and operates one decorative chrome electroplating tank to perform this work. Chrome is a known carcinogen and air pollutant.

"Companies that work with chrome must be sure to keep a proper operations and maintenance plan to ensure the safety of workers and protect the public health," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator of EPA New England. "We hope this action demonstrates that all companies must obey these laws and come into compliance."

The consent decree was signed last week by a U.S. District Court Judge in Springfield.