City settles with EPA over PCB disposal

September 19, 2010 

KETCHIKAN -- The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $2,900 settlement with the city of Ketchikan to resolve violations of improper disposal of PCB waste two years ago.

The federal agency says workers from Ketchikan Public Utilities in August 2007 removed about five gallons of oil containing PCBs from a transformer and improperly incinerated the liquid.

An EPA pesticides and toxics program manager in Seattle said disposing of PCB waste improperly can be harmful to human health and the environment.

The agency said PCBs were once widely used as a nonflammable coolant for transformers and other electrical equipment. In 1976, Congress enacted a law that authorized EPA to strictly regulate their use, manufacture, cleanup and disposal.

The agency says PCBs have been demonstrated to cause cancer and other health problems.

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