News Releases from Region 9
EPA Fines Phoenix-based Company $95,000 for PCB violations
Release Date: 10/29/2013
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required Veolia ES Technical Solutions, LLC to pay a $95,000 civil penalty for failure to properly manage PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) at its Jefferson Avenue facility in Phoenix, Ariz.
The violations stemmed from two inspections in 2008 and 2010. EPA inspectors found the company used PCB-contaminated structures, and improperly stored and disposed of PCBs in violation of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.
“Our goal is to safeguard workers and nearby communities from the health hazards of PCBs,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This settlement ensures that Veolia will take necessary steps to improve its storage and disposal practices.”
Veolia Environmental Services North America, the parent company of Veolia ES Technical Solutions, LLC, employs over 5,400 staff generating $1.1 billion in revenues in 2012. The company specializes in the management, treatment and disposal of waste.
PCBs are man-made organic chemicals used in paints, industrial equipment, plastics, and cooling oil for electrical transformers. More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the United States before the EPA banned the production of this chemical class in 1978, and many PCB-containing materials are still in use today.
When released into the environment, PCBs remain for decades. Tests have shown that PCBs cause cancer in animals and are suspected carcinogens in humans. Acute PCB exposure can also adversely affect the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems as well as liver function. Concerns about human health and the extensive presence and lengthy persistence of PCBs in the environment led Congress to enact TSCA in 1976.
This case is one of three PCB electrical transformer recyclers in the Pacific Southwest region. In the last two years EPA has inspected and taken enforcement action against all three PCB facilities regarding improper management. The last action involved Lighting Resources, LLC, a Phoenix based company, which settled in May.
For more information on PCB regulation and enforcement, as well as TSCA enforcement in general, please visit the EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/pcb/