News | October 2, 2019

Newburyport, Massachusetts Company Improves Chemical Safety After EPA Settlement

A Newburyport, Massachusetts company that makes chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make the company safer for employees and the environment. The settlement with Polycarbon Industries (PCI) includes a $50,210 fine and $152,000 in projects that will protect human health and the environment.

To settle charges by EPA that the company violated federal and state hazardous waste laws, PCI of 9 Opportunity Way in Newburyport agreed to buy and operate a system to monitor emissions of hazardous wastes and other gas emissions inside the manufacturing and laboratory areas of its facility. The company will also plant 63 trees in Newburyport as a Supplementary Environmental Project that will reduce air pollution in the Newburyport area.

"PCI will ensure the environment and workers are protected in the future by taking the steps needed to come into compliance," said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "This is important because these violations could have resulted in the release of hazardous wastes to the environment."

In its manufacturing process, PCI generates hazardous wastes such as toluene, methylene chloride, acetone and methanol. The most significant violations were that the company failed to comply with regulations designed to prevent releases of hazardous waste for four hazardous waste tanks and failed to comply with hazardous waste air emission standards for those tanks, as well as associated equipment that came into contact with the waste.

Under the settlement, the company will comply with hazardous waste tank and air emission requirements for four tanks that were not being managed according to federal and state hazardous waste requirements.

The case stems from a June 2017 inspection of the facility, which was part of a national compliance initiative regarding hazardous waste air emissions.

SOURCE: United States Environmental Protection Agency