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EPA Orders Danbury, Conn., Co. to Pay $310,750 For Violating TCE Emissions Standards

Release Date: 10/02/2000
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Danbury, Conn., ball bearings manufacturer to pay $310,750 for violations of federal laws regulating emission of trichloroethylene (TCE).

According to an administrative complaint, Barden Corp. exceeded emissions levels for four of its six vapor degreasers during 1998, the year of the inspections. One degreaser emitted 300 percent the amount allowed by law throughout the year. The other three degreasers that violated limits emitted from 12 to 150 percent above the standard during various points in the year. According to EPA's complaint, the company also failed to comply with state record-keeping requirements.

EPA issued a notice of violation last year claiming that Barden failed to keep records of TCE emissions or to calculate the TCE emissions from each. As a result, EPA inspectors were unable to determine whether Barden is exceeding its allowed TCE emission rate for each degreaser.

"The company's poor environmental behavior puts the public and its own employees at risk," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator for EPA New England. "The penalty we proposed today should send a message that EPA will deal aggressively with companies that endanger the public and the environment."

Even when inhaled for short periods of time, TCE can cause headaches, lung irritation, dizziness, poor coordination and difficulty concentrating.

Barden operates six vapor degreasers ranging in size from 10 to 140 gallons. Each of these uses TCE. The degreasers are used to clean parts during the manufacturing of precision ball-bearings which are use in the aerospace industry.

The action against Barden stems from a January 1999 inspection of the plant. In September of that year, EPA issued a notice of violation, an administrative order and in November and December received Barden's responses to the Administrative order and reporting requirement.