NEWBURYPORT — A local company that makes chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry recently reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that included paying a $50,210 fine after being cited for violating federal and state hazardous waste laws.

Polycarbon Industries (PCI), located at 9 Opportunity Way in the city's business park, signed an agreement with the EPA to make the company safer for employees and the environment, and to pay the fine and fund $152,000 in projects to protect human health and the environment.

The company agreed to buy and operate a system to monitor emissions of hazardous wastes and other gas emissions inside the manufacturing and laboratory areas of its building. The company will also plant 63 trees in Newburyport as a supplementary environmental project that will reduce air pollution in the Newburyport area.

“PCI will ensure the environment and workers are protected in the future by taking the steps needed to come into compliance,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel in the release. “This is important because these violations could have resulted in the release of hazardous wastes to the environment.”

According to a press release from the EPA, PCI generates hazardous wastes such as toluene, methylene chloride, acetone and methanol during its manufacturing process. The most significant violations were that the company failed to comply with regulations designed to prevent release of hazardous waste for four hazardous waste tanks and failed to comply with hazardous waste air emission standards for those tanks, as well as associated equipment that came into contact with the waste.

Under the settlement, the company will comply with hazardous waste tank and air emission requirements for four tanks that were not being managed according to federal and state hazardous waste requirements, according to the EPA.

The case stems from a June 2017 inspection of PCI, which was part of a national compliance initiative regarding hazardous waste air emissions. 

In a statement, PCI spokesperson Ed Price said the company was committed to environmental and safety standards.

"Following EPA’s new compliance initiative, we decided, without admitting liability, to settle EPA’s allegations and indeed to invest $152,000 in projects that will protect human health and the environment, thereby demonstrating once again our commitment towards environment and safety," said Price in the written statement. "PCI will continue its efforts to act in a sustainable and responsible manner every day." 

Staff writer Jack Shea can be reached via email at jshea@salemnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.

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