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EPA Cites Dry Cleaners in Thornwood and Armonk, New York For Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 05/24/2006
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(NEW YORK, N.Y.) Two dry cleaning facilities in Westchester County, New York have been charged with violating federal rules for the safe handling of hazardous waste, according to a recent complaint issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The two facilities, which operate under the name Dry Cleaning by Frederick’s, use tetrachloroethylene, commonly referred to as “perc”, in the dry cleaning process. Releases of this volatile organic compound and probable carcinogen can contaminate ground water and cause respiratory and other serious health problems for workers.

“Businesses that handle hazardous wastes must avoid creating conditions that increase the likelihood of releases, spills or accidents,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Compliance with federal rules dealing with the proper way to manage hazardous wastes is the best way to do that.”

EPA inspected the facility in Thornwood and Armonk on December 28, 2004, and conducted a follow up inspection of the facility in Thornwood on March 23, 2005, for compliance with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. Based on its findings from those inspections, EPA issued a complaint with a proposed penalty of $57,849 for the alledged violations, including:

Failing to identify hazardous wastes
Storing hazardous waste without a permit
Failing to minimize the releases of hazardous waste

In addition, EPA found that fluorescent light bulbs, which contain the known neurotoxin mercury, were being improperly handled and disposed of as municipal waste at the Thornwood store. Mercury can be released into the environment when fluorescent bulbs are crushed during disposal.

For more information about hazardous waste handling requirements visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm
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