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News Releases from Region 01

Connecticut Power Company Settles with EPA for Transformer Spill

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON – The Connecticut Light and Power Company has agreed to pay $47,000 to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that it violated federal regulations in its management of a transformer that spilled 50 gallons of oil containing PCBs at a location in Waterbury.

EPA alleged that violations of the federal Toxics Substances Control Act occurred at a transformer at 130 Freight St., home to a client of the power company. The transformer was owned by the power company, which is doing business as Eversource Energy. Eversource was responsible for the storage and removal of the transformer.

Eversource has since removed and shipped for disposal the PCB-contaminated transformer and contaminated soil and concrete. About 70 cubic yards of material was removed as a result of the cleanup, according to Eversource officials. Connecticut Light and Power has now properly disposed of the transformer and cleaned the area where it stood.

"The toxic substances law is in place to make sure the public and the environment are protected from the potential damage of chemicals such as PCBs," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

The transformer was reportedly vandalized in September of 2014 and several key components were stolen. On Sept. 24 of that year, Eversource, then known as Northeast Utilities, took the transformer off line but due to an oversight did not remove it for over a year. In January of 2016, Eversource discovered the transformer had been vandalized again and a spill had occurred. The company estimated about 50 gallons of oil with a PCB concentration of 318 parts per million had been released.  

Among the violations:

  • The PCB spill onto the concrete pad and soil constitutes improper disposal of PCBs.
  • The transformer was stored for disposal more than 30 days without the facility receiving an EPA identification number.
  • The PCB-contaminated transformer was stored for disposal more than 30 days in an area which did not meet the storage requirements of the law.
  • The transformer was not disposed of within a year of the date the item was determined to be waste.
  • The transformer was not inspected every 30 days for leaks and records of leak inspections were not maintained as required.

More information on PCBs and regulations on their management (www.epa.gov/pcbs)