Bulkhead Maker to Pay for Unreported Use of Styrene

Composite Aquatic Innovations Inc., an Arlington, Wash.-based manufacturer of swimming pool bulkheads, has settled with the Environmental Protection Agency and agreed to pay a $4,480 penalty for alleged violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPA said the company failed to report its use of the toxic chemical styrene to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

Styrene is a colorless liquid that evaporates easily and is widely used to make plastics and rubber. Exposure to styrene can affect the nervous system and can cause changes in color vision, fatigue, slowed reaction time, concentration problems, and balance problems. Facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use significant quantities of toxic chemicals such as styrene are required to report annually to the TRI on their releases, transfers, and waste management activities.

Composite Aquatic failed to promptly submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Report to EPA and the State of Washington for its use of styrene in its manufacturing process in 2004, EPA said.

"TRI information allows the public to be aware of what chemicals are being used in their communities and to make decisions based on that information," said Rick Albright, director of EPA's Office of Air, Waste & Toxics in Seattle. "Without complete data, the effectiveness of TRI as a tool for the public is diminished."

For more information about the TRI program, visit www.epa.gov/tri/. For additional data about the toxic effects of styrene, available from NIOSH, go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/styrene/.

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