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Release Date: 9/29/1998
Contact Information: Bonnie Lomax (215) 814-5542 September 29, 1998

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that, together with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., it has filed a joint stipulation to dismiss an administrative complaint against Rhone-Poulenc.

In its March 30, 1998 complaint, EPA had alleged that the company violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) -- the federal toxic chemical reporting law -- by failing to timely report 1994 releases of methanol and toluene at its Collegeville site.  EPA sought a $34,000 penalty for this alleged violation.  

In subsequent discussions with EPA, Rhone-Poulenc showed that it had erroneously identified this site as a facility required to file toxic chemical release reports.  In fact, the company showed that the Collegeville location engages primarily in research and development, not manufacturing, contrary to prior filings with EPA, and fell under a different primary standard industrial classification than previously reported.

EPCRA requires companies that manufacture, process or use more than a threshold amount of regulated chemicals to file an annual toxic chemical release form with EPA and the state.  Companies must report both routine and accidental releases of toxic chemicals, as well as the maximum amount of any listed chemicals on site and the amount contained in wastes transferred off-site.  

The reports provide the basis for EPA’s annual Toxic Release Inventory, which is used by the public and regulatory authorities to track pollution trends and identify pollution prevention opportunities.