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Four labs settle pollution allegations brought by Mass. AG

By Bryan Cohen | May 27, 2014

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a $1.75 million agreement on Tuesday with four commercial laboratories that allegedly failed to obtain required state permits and control their hazardous air pollutant emissions.

Con-Test Analytical Laboratory, Spectrum Analytical Inc., Accutest Laboratories of New England Inc. and Alpha Analytical Inc. allegedly violated the state's Public Health Law by operating as major sources of HAP emissions and as sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) without permits and approvals from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Coakley alleged the emissions of pollutants occurred near schools, hospitals, residences and other commercial buildings.

Under the terms of four consent judgments, the labs must pay $1.75 million to the state and comply with state permitting requirements. The labs must also install emission control equipment for sample analyses that will reduce HAP emissions by 95 percent.

"This landmark environmental settlement requires the four biggest environmental testing lab operators in Massachusetts to come into compliance with the law and install controls to reduce their hazardous air emissions," Coakley said. "These settlements will result in dramatic and cost-effective reductions to protect the health of communities in the commonwealth. We hope that these actions will spur a national discussion about controlling laboratory-sector hazardous air pollution emissions."

As part of the agreements, Alpha must comply with air permits issued for its two facilities by MassDEP, while Spectrum, Con-Test and Accutest must follow clearly-defined procedures to complete the air permitting process for their laboratories.

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