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News Releases from Region 03

OMNOVA Solutions Inc. reaches settlement with EPA over toxic chemical violations

Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
(215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (August 16, 2016) – OMNOVA Solutions, Inc. will pay a $7,090 penalty as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resolve alleged violations involving the transportation of used oil that contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the company’s chemical manufacturing facility located at 1001 Chambers Ave., Jeanette, Pa.

EPA alleged that the company violated PCB regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) when it transported PCB waste to a disposal facility without following proper procedures or completing required documentation.  OMNOVA contracted with Veolia, Inc. to pick up and transport its used oil in August 2015. The oil was contaminated with PCBs.

PCBs, a probable human carcinogen, were commonly used as a nonflammable coolant for transformers and other electrical equipment until the 1970's, when Congress strictly limited the manufacture and use of this toxic substance.  Although much of the equipment at the chemical manufacturing facility has been replaced or upgraded to remove PCBs, the PCB’s somehow got into the oil during the manufacturing process.  OMNOVA is examining their system to determine the exact source of the PCBs so it can develop a permanent solution to remove the PCBs.

OMNOVA has also upgraded its oil disposal process to check the used oil for PCBs before shipping.  Any oil that is contaminated with PCBs must be transported to a disposal facility that is authorized to handle contaminated waste.

As part of the settlement, OMNOVA did not admit liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with applicable PCB regulations.

For more information on the health effects, regulations, and cleanup of PCBs, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/index.htm .

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