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Release Date: 06/03/1998
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617) 918-4154

BOSTON - The Environmental Protection Agency is fining the Spencer Metal Finishing Company of Brookfield, Mass. $10,000 for violating several provisions of the country's major waste handling statute, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The facility -- which buffs, grinds, degreases and powder coats metal parts -- illegally stored waste for five years without notifying the EPA or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Nearly 20 drums of hazardous waste had been improperly labeled and stored at the facility on Mill Street.

"This penalty will get Spencer on the straight and narrow environmentally, and will provide a safer working place for its employees and the surrounding neighborhood," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England office.

The facility was not designed or operated to allow for the appropriate management of hazardous waste. Waste containers were stored for several years on wooden pallets that were set on a wooden floor, there was no secondary containment and the basement area below the flooring had a dirt floor.

Since the initial EPA inspection of the facility last June, Spencer has properly disposed of its hazardous waste. The facility has also agreed to close its hazardous waste storage area.

Due to Spencer's financial condition, the EPA reduced the original proposed fine of $271,000 down to $10,000 in order to prevent the company from entering bankruptcy.