Feds, Milgram don't want cancer-causer leaked

John O'Brien Aug. 19, 2008, 1:50pm


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram is joining with the federal government in a settlement designed to reduce vinyl chloride emissions at a Burlington Township manufacturing facility.

Colorite Specialty Resins must also pay a $1.3 million civil penalty that will be split between New Jersey and the feds. The company was alleged to have violated several federal and state environmental laws.

"This outcome provides another strong example of our use of litigation to enforce environmental laws and improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents -- particularly those living near this facility," Milgram said.

"The settlement requires Colorite to go beyond compliance and take immediate steps to reduce vinyl chloride emissions."

Those measures include:

-Lowering limits on residual vinyl chloride in both types of resins it produces;

-Testing for such residues in every batch of resins and for vinyl chloride emissions during every reactor opening;

-Implementation of an extensive leak detection and repair program;

-An analysis of the wastewater stripper; and

-Instituting better hazardous waste-handling practices.

Colorite produces PVC plastic and vinyl products at the Burlington plant. Exposure to vinyl chloride, a Group A carcinogen, has been linked to liver cancer, other liver ailments and neurological disorders, Milgram said.

The U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined Milgram in the announcement, as did the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

"Given what we know about the dangers of these emissions, this settlement did not come a moment too soon for the people who live and work near this facility," DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson said.

A copy of the consent decree can be viewed here.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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