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ALFAB: U.S. EPA, OUT OF CONTROL?

 ALFAB: U.S. EPA, OUT OF CONTROL?
 SMITHVILLE, W.Va., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- On Feb. 5, Eldon J.


Haught, owner of a small manufacturing firm in Smithville, awoke to read in the local newspaper that his company was being fined $2 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He was notified of the penalties on Thursday, Feb. 6, by certified mail.
 Today the company issued the following statement.
 "The company, Alfab, Inc., manufactures and customizes truck bodies. Its 1991 sales totaled $2,148,000. Since March of 1991, the company has been aware of a waste disposal irregularity and has been working with the state agency to correct it. Apparently, employees had rinsed out painting equipment behind the paint room without the owners's knowledge. The solvent, xylene, is classified as a hazardous waste.
 "The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, had cited Alfab and penalized them $2,000 for this violation. A cleanup plan submitted to DNR was approved on Jan. 23, 1992, and cleanup was completed on Jan. 31, 1992.
 "The EPA now is classifying the 10-by-15 foot area in question as a 'landfill' and is demanding that a water monitoring system be installed and a closure plan be filed with them within 30 days, among other requirements.
 "It is ironic that the penalties were announced just one week after President Bush announced a moratorium on regulations. This shows the administration is aware of the hardship placed on small business by over-regulation and exorbitant penalties. EPA penalties normally run much higher than those of OSHA, for instance, which may only fine a company a few thousand dollars for accidents resulting in fatalities.
 "EPA direction seems rather muddled at best. According to the Jan. 31 issue of Inside EPA, 'regulations under the nation's waste law and those incurring costs on small busineses and towns are being closely examined by EPA staff as potential areas where the agency could ease regulatory burdens on the economy under a major Bush Administration deregulatory push, EPA sources say." This does not quite fit with the action of EPA's Philadelphia Region III against Alfab on Feb. 4.
 "Has the U.S. EPA gotten out of control? Is it more interested in media coverage than in protecting the environment? And, in these difficult economic times, how does it weigh the benefits vs. risks of an environmental problem that has been corrected against jeopardinzing the jobs over 60 people?"
 -0- 2/17/92
 /CONTACT: Dolores Kinder of Charles Ryan Associates, 304-342-0161, for Alfab, Inc./ CO: Alfab, Inc.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: West Virginia IN: SU:


JT -- PGFNS4 -- 0506 02/17/92 07:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 17, 1992
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