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Belmont Electroplater Agrees to Establish Environmental Management Systems to Ensure Compliance with Environmental Requirements

Release Date: 11/30/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with and ordered the Cambridge Plating Company of Belmont, Mass. to establish an environmental management system (EMS) and to undergo annual environmental compliance audits to be performed by an independent firm.

These measures are being required because of the company's past history of violating environmental requirements. Cambridge Plating has agreed to these measures in an EPA order negotiated with the company.

Violations of hazardous waste and air pollution requirements were discovered at this electroplating facility during EPA inspections in April and September 2000 and February 2001. These followed earlier violations by the company of hazardous waste and water pollution requirements. Violations discovered by the EPA have been corrected, but the EPA is requiring Cambridge Plating to go beyond simply correcting the violations by establishing an EMS and audit program to ensure that violations are not repeated.

"The EPA has been very concerned about the violations of environmental requirements by Cambridge Plating. The company's agreement to institute an environmental management system and an audit program is a good start towards turning this situation around. But constant vigilance by the company's owners and management – and the investment of sufficient resources – will be needed during the coming years to ensure ongoing compliance," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

An EMS is a detailed plan for ensuring day-to-day compliance with environmental requirements. Periodic audits ensure that a company is complying with environmental requirements and that its EMS is functioning effectively. Under the order EPA will oversee the establishment of the EMS by Cambridge Plating by 2002 and will review the initial report prepared by the independent auditor during 2003.

In addition to creating an EMS and audit program, Cambridge Plating still faces penalties for its past violations. EPA and the company are negotiating a settlement in the case, which may include the possibility of a reduction in monetary penalties in return for the company instituting noise and odor controls and other measures beneficial to the environment and neighboring community.