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Newark Chemical Company to Reduce Emissions in Settlement with EPA; Troy Chemical to Make $180K in Environmental Improvements and Pay $90K

Release Date: 07/11/2000
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(#00129) New York, N.Y. – In a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on charges it violated federal chemical reporting requirements, Newark, New Jersey-based Troy Chemical Corporation has agreed to make $180,000 worth of improvements to its Avenue L facility to reduce air and water emissions and decrease the amount of chemicals the company uses in its production processes. These improvements were made possible through EPA’s innovative Supplemental Environmental Project program, which gives companies that settle with the agency the option of doing projects that will benefit human health and the environment. Troy Chemical will also pay a cash penalty of $90,700.

"Companies that are in the business of dealing with toxic chemicals are obligated to follow EPA’s reporting requirements to the letter," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "When we discover violations, however, we often encourage companies to engage in projects that will benefit their neighbors and the local environment. The improvements Troy Chemical will make to its Newark facility are the positive side of its violations -- which we do not expect to see repeated."

EPA inspected Troy Chemical in March 1997 to check the company’s compliance with two federal environmental laws: the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA). TSCA requires companies that manufacture or import more than 10,000 lbs. of certain chemicals over the course of a fiscal year to report information to EPA about those chemicals on a four-year cycle. The only production or import information required from these companies is for the last fiscal year before the reporting deadline. EPA’s inspection and information provided by Troy revealed that the company did not file information for 16 chemicals it imported in the fiscal year prior to December 23, 1994 – a reporting deadline. These actions constituted 16 separate violations of TSCA. In addition, EPA identified violations of EPCRA regulations requiring companies that produce, process or use certain chemicals to report information on the release of those chemicals into the environment by July 1 of every year. This information is then compiled into a publicly-released Toxic Release Inventory report, which is updated every year and provides people with information about how much of certain toxic chemicals used by nearby facilities are released into their local environment. EPA charged that Troy had not submitted information about its environmental release of cumene and xylene in 1992 and 1993.

The improvements Troy Chemical will make to its Newark facility will reduce its air emissions of methanol, and its disposal as waste of both methanol and a mixture of toxic chemicals called MODSOL, both of which are used in Troy’s chemical-manufacturing processes. Troy will make two upgrades to significantly increase the amount of used methanol and MODSOL it can capture and recycle back into its processes, reducing the amount of these chemicals normally discharged to a sewer line leading to a treatment facility. These projects will not only decrease the amount of the chemicals entering the waste stream, but reduce the amount of fresh chemicals the company must purchase for its processes. Troy will also install low-emission valves between pipes throughout the Newark facility to reduce methanol emissions into the air. Chemicals like methanol, which easily vaporize into the air, can escape into the environment through loose seals. The low-emission valves Troy will install will tighten seals between pipes, greatly reducing the amount of methanol and other volatile chemicals that escape. The total cost of the three projects is estimated to be $180,000. One of the two recycling projects and the valve installation must be completed by the end of October 2000. Troy has until the end of May 2001 to make the other recycling improvement.

Troy Chemical Corporation manufactures specialty chemicals including industrial pesticides for use in paints, inks, and other pesticidal products, and has annual sales of approximately $50 million.