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Two Connecticut Companies Settle EPA Claims of Violating PCB Regulations

Release Date: 03/28/2016
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – Two Connecticut companies, a scrap metal recycling facility and a waste oil transporter, agreed to pay fines to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that they violated federal laws regarding toxic substances in their handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In addition, as part of the settlements one company will clean up PCB contamination and the other has voluntarily changed operations to reduce the chance of contaminating waste oil shipments with PCBs.

G&S, a scrap metal recycling facility in South Windsor, Conn., will clean up an on-site lagoon that became polluted with toxic chemicals, and paid a penalty of $22,500, settling EPA claims that it violated the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Connecticut Oil Recycling Services in Middletown, Conn., a waste oil transporter and recycler, paid $20,000 to settle an EPA claim that it failed to properly prepare a hazardous waste manifest for waste containing PCBs when transporting waste that included PCBs.

Under federal law, a release of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, at concentrations greater than 50 parts per million is a disposal of PCBs, and anyone disposing of PCBs must do so in accordance with federal environmental regulations. PCBs are a carcinogen and also pose a number of non-cancer adverse health effects in humans and animals.

G&S, located at 444 Nutmeg Road North in South Windsor, buys and consolidates scrap metals, which it sorts inside the building or on concrete pads to reduce the chance of soil contamination. A system of oil/water separators and retention ponds are designed to capture any contaminants. The federal Clean Water Act permit issued to G&S requires the company to periodically sample discharges for PCBs. G&S conducted the required sampling and detected no PCBs in 2012 or 2013. In 2014, however sampling found PCBs in surface water and sediments. On discovering this, G&S started a cleanup and has submitted a cleanup plan to deal with the remaining contamination.

Connecticut Oil Recycling Services, at 27 Mill Street in Middletown, picked up waste from a customer and transported it to Active Oil, an oil processing facility in New Haven, Conn., for disposal or recycling. Neither the company nor its customers who provide the oil did sampling for PCB contamination. In April 2015, Active Oil found PCB contamination in its storage tank which was traced back to a shipment made by Connecticut Oil Recycling Services. EPA alleged that the company violated TSCA by failing to properly prepare a hazardous waste manifest for waste containing PCBs in a shipment on April 13, 2015. By adding PCB-contaminated waste oil to its tanker truck, combining it with waste oil collected from other customers, and then adding it to a tank at Active Oil, these actions led to the PCB contamination of about 15,000 gallons of waste oil.

The Bill of Lading that Connecticut Oil Recycling Services issued when it transported a tanker truck load of waste oil to Active Oil was not a proper hazardous waste manifest because, among other things, it did not identify the shipment as containing PCB waste.

More information:

- EPA enforcement of the Toxic Substances Control Act (https://www.epa.gov/compliance/toxic-substances-control-act-tsca-compliance-monitoring)

- Information on PCBs (https://www.epa.gov/pcbs)

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