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Plain N’ Fancy Kitchens Settles EPA Complaint Alleging Toxic Chemical Reporting Violations

Release Date: 11/19/2001
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith 215-814-5567

Contact: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Plain ‘N Fancy Kitchens Inc., a manufacturer of wood cabinets and counter tops, has settled alleged violations of toxic chemical reporting regulations at its plant in Schaefferstown, Pa.

In a consent agreement with EPA, the company has agreed to pay a $32,250 penalty for failing to file required annual reports on releases of xylene and toluene. NOTE: This case involves alleged reporting violations, and not unlawful releases of toxic chemicals.

EPA cited the company for violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (often referred to as, EPCRA), which requires companies that use or process more than a threshold amount of listed toxic chemicals to file an annual toxic chemical release form with EPA and the state. Companies must report both routine and accidental releases of toxic chemicals, as well as the maximum amount of any listed chemicals at the facility and the amount contained in wastes transferred off-site. The reports provide the basis for EPA’s annual Toxic Release Inventory, which allows the public and regulatory authorities to track pollution trends and to identify pollution prevention opportunities.

According to EPA’s March 2001 complaint, the company failed to file timely reports for xylene in calendar years 1998 and 1999, and for toluene in calendar year 1998. During each of these years, the company used more than10,000 pounds of xylene and toluene, which are commonly used as thinners in finishes, coatings, and varnishes.

The settlement penalty reflects the company’s cooperation with the investigation of these alleged violations, and its prompt compliance efforts. In the settlement papers, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for these alleged violations.

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