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EPA, Macy’s Announce Settlement Over Hazardous Waste Management Violations

Release Date: 08/27/2008
Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc., have agreed to a settlement over hazardous waste management violations at Macy’s stores in Albany and Garden City, N.Y. EPA alleged in 2007 that Macy’s failed to properly identify and handle spent fluorescent and other types of light bulbs at the two stores.

Macy’s has agreed to pay a $49,725 penalty and to voluntarily ensure that its approximately 75 stores throughout New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico remain in compliance with the requirements for the handling of spent light bulbs.

“The proper management of hazardous wastes, especially mercury in fluorescent light bulbs, is a serious issue,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “EPA is pleased that Macy’s will take major steps to improve its hazardous waste management in the region.”

EPA issued a complaint to Macy’s in December 2007, citing the company for violations of authorized New York State hazardous waste regulations at two stores, Crossgates Mall in Albany and Roosevelt Field in Garden City. EPA’s complaint had been initiated pursuant to Section 3008 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (or RCRA), 42 U.S.C. Section 6928.

The level of mercury in spent lamps can lead to their classification as a hazardous waste. Mercury can lead to a variety of health problems in children and adults alike.

For more information on safely handling fluorescent light bulbs, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cfl/.

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