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New Haven company faces fine for waste violations

A New Haven, Connecticut company that makes door hardware faces a penalty of $64,495 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating state and federal hazardous waste laws.

According to a complaint filed recently by EPA’s New England office, the Sargent Manufacturing Company failed to segregate containers of incompatible hazardous waste, failed to have an adequate hazardous waste training program, failed to close containers of hazardous waste, failed to maintain adequate aisle space between containers of hazardous waste, failed to mark containers with the date that accumulation of hazardous waste began, failed to update and submit revised contingency plan to local authorities and otherwise failed to manage hazardous waste in accordance with the requirements.

The case stems from a March 2011 inspection by EPA to see if the company was meeting the requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and related state regulations. This federal law is designed to help protect public health and the environment.

Sargent’s failure to segregate containers of spent hydrochloric acid and sodium fluoride prompted significant concern. If the containers were to leak, the mixing of these incompatible wastes could lead to a reaction, such as fire or explosion, or the generation of flammable hydrogen gas. Sargent’s failure to have an adequate hazardous waste training program increased the likelihood that wastes generated may not be properly managed and that Sargent personnel may not be able to adequately coordinate all emergency response measures in the event of emergency.