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News Releases issued by the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention


EPA Grants One Year Exemptions for DOD to Safely Dispose of PCB Wastes

Release Date: 02/07/2003
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/
Dave Deegan 202-564-7839/

(02/07/03) EPA has issued a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to grant two Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) petitions to import PCB waste to be safely eliminated at EPA-permitted disposal facilities. DLA is a component of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). EPA’s action ensures that the PCBs will be disposed of in a safe manner that poses no threat to U.S. or Japanese citizens or to the environment. Before granting these exemptions, DLA had to demonstrate under TSCA regulations that they could dispose of the PCBs in a manner that presented “no unreasonable risk to health or the environment,” and that DLA had made good faith efforts to find alternatives to import into the United States. Polychlorinated biphenyls are man-made (synthetic) chemicals that were used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment. Since the late 1970s the U.S. has been removing PCBs from use and disposing of remaining materials. One petition granted is to import DoD’s PCBs that are stored on Wake Island, a United States territory in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. The other petition is to import PCBs owned by DoD that are currently in use or storage in Japan. These exemptions will become effective on April 18, 2003, and under TSCA 6(e)(3)(B), are limited to one-year. For further information, see the Federal Register notice at: