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Record $15.7 Million Sought in Complaint Against Tennessee Gas Pipeline

solvent that was an ignitable hazardous waste. Used to degrease mechanical parts, and mixed with waste oil, the solvent was transported to a waste-oil recycler without a manifest. U.S. Sugar did not inform the recycler that an ignitable hazardous waste was mixed with the oil; the recycler did not have a permit to treat or to dispose of hazardous waste.

The charges derive from soil, water, and chemical samples taken by EPA personnel and FBI agents during a search of the Bryant plant.

allege that Kennecott was aware of the following releases of hazardous materials but failed to report them to authorities: approximately 21,000 pounds of corrosive wastes spilled on the ground; 17,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide discharged to the air from smelter wastewater in an open canal; and sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide discharged to the air because of equipment failures at a substation and stack.

The PCB mismanagement charges were brought under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the hazardous-material release charges under the Superfund law and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act-the former requires that hazardous material spills be reported to the National Response Center in Washington, the latter that local and state emergency response groups be notified as well.

Kennecott Utah Copper Faces Fines of More Than $1.4 Million

United States Sugar Corporation has agreed to plead guilty to eight felony charges filed by the Department of Justice and to pay a criminal fine of $3,750,000. The crimes, which occurred at the company's Bryant plant in Palm Beach County, Florida, involve the illegal disposal and transportation of hazardous wastes. The fine is the largest penalty ever assessed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Three of the eight counts charge the company with illegal disposal of lead subacetate during harvests in the period 1986 through 1989. The chemical was used in the sugar mill laboratory; the

used chemical, which is a hazardous waste, was then disposed of in two forms: Mixed with sugar cane juice, it was dumped on the company's property; as a contaminant in laboratory filter papers, it was dumped in a local landfill.

The next three counts charge the company with illegal disposal of two solvents, tetrachloroethylene and methylene chloride, which it used to degrease mechanical parts. The used solvents, mixed with oil and grease, were dumped in

then surface impoundments at the Bryant plant.

The last two counts charge the company with illegal transportation of a

In the largest administrative penalty ever sought by the Agency, EPA has filed a $15.7 million complaint against Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company of Houston, Texas, for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The company operates an interstate natural gas-transmission system that extends approximately 10,000 miles; the complaint alleges that it improperly used and disposed of PCBs at 26 gas compressor stations along the pipeline from 1980 to 1990. The stations are located in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The company is working with EPA and the states to clean up its equipment and any soil or water contaminated by the chemical. Last year, Texas Eastern paid a $15 million penalty for similar violations, and is now in the middle of a 10-year program to clean up PCBs at a cost of $750 million.

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EPA has asked for fines against Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation totaling more than $1.4 million: $1,129,000 for mismanagement of PCBs, and $291,850 for failure to report the release of hazardous materials to the environment. The charges stem from inspections of the company's smelter, refinery, Magna concentrator, Bonneville Plant, and Bingham Canyon mine. They allege: 180 counts of improper use of transformers containing PCBs, 16 counts of improper disposal of PCBs, 20 counts of failure to maintain records of PCB equipment, and one count

ure to mark an area containing a PCB transformer. They further

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Toxic Emissions from Dry Cleaners To Be Reduced

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Of the approximately
25,200 cleaning plants in
the United States, 9,700
currently have no controls
and could be affected by the
rule. However, the Clean
Air Act allows EPA to be
sensitive to economic
impacts on small business,
and the Agency has set a
"consumption cutoff” that
will exempt all but 3,700
plants from having to install
controls. The cutoff is 220
gallons of PCE a year for
cleaners with dry-to-dry
machines—those that wash
and dry in the same unit; it
is 300 gallons a year for
cleaners with transfer
machines—washing is done
in one unit, drying in
another. The cleaners that
would be exempted under
the rule account for only 1.4
percent of total PCE
emissions, so the effect of
the exemption on public
health would be negligible.

The proposed rule would
reduce the total emissions
of PCE by 13 to 26 percent.
The estimated capital cost
for the cleaners that are
now uncontrolled would be
$63 million by 1996; the
annualized cost in 1996
would be $9 million. The
increased cost of dry
cleaning for customers
would be less than one
percent.

A regulation proposed by
EPA would reduce
emissions of
perchloroethyline from large
dry cleaning plants. The
solvent, also known as PCE
or PERC, is the most widely
used cleaning agent in the
industry and is one of 190
toxic air pollutants EPA
must regulate within the
next 10 years under the
1990 Clean Air Act.

The proposal is the first air toxics rule to be written under the Act. It was prepared with the help of the International Fabricare Institute, and reflects an effort by EPA to minimize costs to small businesses.

Under the rule, operators would have to install a carbon adsorber, refrigerated condenser, or equivalent device to control vented PCE emissions. They would have to practice pollution prevention procedures, including good operation and maintenance, for both dry cleaning machines and auxiliary equipment, such as solvent tanks. And they would have to conduct a weekly inspection to prevent emissions from broken or improperly operating equipment and keep a record of such things as the amount of PCE used.

The rule would apply to both “industrial" and "commercial" dry cleaners. Industrial cleaners, the largest, typically supply rental uniforms and other such items to business and institutional customers. Commercial cleaners, the most common, include the small, independently operated neighborhood shops.

Steve Delaney photo.

All Four New Jersey produce brighter lighting

with less energy, contribute Utilities Join

to a more productive Green Lights

workplace, and create less heat, thereby reducing the

demand for air New Jersey's four electric

conditioning utility companies have

EPA launched the Green joined EPA's Green Lights program; the state is the

Lights Program in 1991 as a first to have all its electric

voluntary, non-regulatory utilities join.

program to encourage U.S. Public Service Electric corporations, utilities, and Gas, Rockland Electric,

states, and local Jersey Control Power and governments to adopt Light, and Atlantic Electric

energy-efficient lighting as a have all agreed to survey

profitable means of their facilities and to install pollution prevention.

Several hundred Green new lighting systems where energy and cost savings can

Lights partners have joined be achieved. What's more,

in the program across the they will aid customers to

country.
do the same. All Green
Lights members can access
an EPA computer-based
support system.

Twenty to 25 percent of
electricity used in the
United States each year goes
to lighting. Half of that, 250
billion kilowatt hours, at a
cost of $20 billion, could be
saved if energy-efficient

Environmental Protection
lighting were substituted,
where feasible, for older
systems. Efficient systems

Lights

Green

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RACE
, POVERTY

, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The Disadvantaged Face Greater Risks

mericans have tended to assume

that pollution is a problem faced equally by everyone in our society. But awareness and concern about inequities in the distribution of environmental hazards have been steadily increasing. The first event to focus national attention on environmental injustice occurred in 1982 when officials decided to locate a PCB landfill in predominantly black Warren County, North Carolina. Protests very similar to those of the civil rights movement of the 1960s erupted. They led to an investigation the following year by the General Accounting Office (GAO) of the socioeconomic and racial composition of communities surrounding the four major hazardous waste landfills in the South. The GAO report found that three of the four were located in communities that were predominantly black.

The Warren County incident and the GAO report led the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice,

by Paul Mohai and Bunyan Bryant

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