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News Releases from Region 01

Under Settlement, North Windham, Conn. Company Reduces Hazardous Waste

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

BOSTON - In a recent settlement with EPA, the manufacturer of bonded abrasives in North Windham, Conn. has acquired new equipment that will reduce its generation of waste epoxy resins. The settlement resolves allegations by EPA that United Abrasives, Inc. violated federal and state hazardous waste laws.

Under the settlement, United Abrasives paid a penalty of $26,619 and spent nearly $100,000 on an environmental project to help reduce the risks posed by the generation of hazardous wastes, benefiting their local community by installing updated equipment at its North Windham facility that eliminates or reduces the company's generation of waste epoxy resins. The settlement also requires United Abrasives to comply with the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The settlement was first reached in Sept. 2014. The company has documented that by March 2015, they paid the required penalty and installed the new equipment, which is now fully operational.

In Sept. 2013, EPA filed a complaint against the company alleging violations of hazardous waste management laws. United Abrasives manufactures a variety of bonded abrasives at its North Windham facility, including grinding wheels and adhesive discs. Its violations included: failure to notify of hazardous waste activity; failure to develop and implement a hazardous waste inspection program, and failure to properly manage universal wastes such as fluorescent light bulbs.

Hazardous waste regulations under RCRA are designed to ensure that operating facilities manage hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner from "cradle to grave" in order to prevent releases that could pose risks to human health and the environment. Manufacturing facilities often generate hazardous wastes during production, and those wastes must be properly managed and disposed of.

Since EPA's discovery of the alleged violations at the United Abrasives facility, the company has worked to eliminate five of its other hazardous waste streams.

More information on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: www.epa.gov/enforcement/waste-chemical-and-cleanup-enforcement#waste