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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a Complaint and Compliance Order against Hudson Color Concentrates, a division of L&A Molding Inc., for violating state and federal hazardous waste management requirements.
Hudson Color, of Leominster, Mass., produces custom color plastic pellet concentrates for the plastics industry by blending, mixing, melting, extruding, quenching, drying and chipping processed mixtures of color pigments.
EPA’s complaint alleges that that Hudson Color violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by failing to conduct an adequate hazardous waste determination of waste pigment powders containing high concentrations of lead found in the facility’s raw material storage areas, pigment room and blending area. In addition, the EPA inspectors found that the company did not handle universal waste in accordance with state and federal regulations by not properly managing mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs in a way that would prevent bulbs from breaking, potentially releasing of mercury into the environment.
The failure to conduct adequate hazard waste determinations of the pigments could result in release of lead into the environment and unnecessarily expose the company’s employees and others to hazardous wastes. In addition to proposing fines of up to $68,466, EPA is ordering Hudson Color to correct these violations by conducting appropriate waste determinations: ensure that mercury-containing universal waste is managed so as to prevent releases of mercury; and, ensure that containers of universal waste are marked with dates of accumulation.
It is important that generators of hazardous wastes thoroughly and carefully characterize waste generated from their operations so that it is properly managed and disposed of without becoming a risk to human health and the environment.
More information: RCRA programs and enforcement in New England: (http://www.epa.gov/ne/topics/cleanup/rcra.html)