MLGW to Pay $1.2 Million for PCB Violations

Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division (MLGW) will pay a $1,220,576 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and conduct a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced recently. The penalty is the highest in this type of enforcement action that includes an SEP.

The alleged violations include improper PCB disposal, storage, marking, recordkeeping, and marketing at several of MLGW’s facilities. The alleged violations were discovered during inspections conducted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), EPA's authorized representative, at MLGW's Central Shops and Substations 1, 3, and 4 to determine compliance with regulations. Based on the findings of TDEC’s inspections, EPA determined that violations had occurred.

Under the SEP, MLGW will conduct a Voluntary Accelerated PCB Removal Program that within three years will significantly reduce the number of transformers, capacitors, and oils that contain regulated quantities of PCBs. The SEP is part of MLGW’s long-term 10-year effort to remove from service all PCB equipment that contains regulated amounts of PCBs. Both the short-term and long-term efforts will result in an overall reduction of PCBs in use and decrease the risk for potential adverse environmental and health impacts associated with PCB exposure. Upon completion of the SEP, it is estimated that approximately 1,216,000 pounds of PCBs will be removed from the environment.

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