Maine Wood Products Facility Settles EPA Toxic Chemical Right-to-Know Allegations

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New England regional office has reached a settlement with a Maine wood products facility that will result in regular reporting about the facility's use of toxic chemicals.

Under the settlement, Louisiana-Pacific Corp. of Nashville, Tennessee, which operates a facility in New Limerick, Maine, has agreed to pay $49,724 to settle EPA allegations that the company failed to comply with federal right-to-know laws in 2015, 2016 and 2017 when they did not file necessary reports regarding a zinc compound used at the plant. The reports, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) forms, are required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

"Failing to report the facility's use of zinc compounds in a timely way deprived the surrounding community of its right to know about toxic chemicals used or stored at the facility that could have affected public health or the environment," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro.

Zinc compounds are toxic chemicals hazardous to aquatic life. This case stems from an EPA inspection of the facility in August 2018. Louisiana-Pacific submitted the three missing TRI reports for its zinc compounds within a month after EPA's inspection and was cooperative throughout the inspection process and case settlement negotiations.

At the New Limerick facility (also known as the Houlton facility), Louisiana-Pacific produces wood products from wood scraps, including a type of engineered lumber that is treated with zinc borate to protect against termites and fungal decay. Each year, the facility processed more than 25,000 pounds of zinc borate powder, which is the threshold for reporting zinc compounds on federal forms.



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