Enforcement action by federal US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) inspectors results in civil penalties (fines) for failure to manage PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) at recycling sites properly in line with the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
In the last two years the USEPA has inspected and taken enforcement action against all three PCB electrical transformer recycling facilities in the Pacific Southwest regarding improper management.
The action settled in October is here.
The action settled in May is here.
USEPA information on PCBs is here – PCBs are man-made organic chemicals used in paints, industrial equipment, plastics, and cooling oil for electrical transformers. More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the US before the USEPA banned the production of this chemical class in 1978, and many PCB-containing materials are still in use today. When released into the environment, PCBs remain for decades. Tests have shown that PCBs cause cancer in animals and are suspected carcinogens in humans. Acute PCB exposure can also adversely affect the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems as well as liver function. Concerns about human health and the extensive presence and lengthy persistence of PCBs in the environment led Congress to enact TSCA in 1976.