Dover, EPA Settle CP Violation

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Dover Chemical will pay $1.4 million in civil penalties for unauthorized manufacture of chlorinated paraffins at facilities in Dover, Ohio, and Hammond, Ind., as part of settlement of a U.S. EPA notice of violation issued in December 2009.

Dover has ceased manufacturing short-chain chlorinated paraffins in U.S. facilities, under the settlement announced last week by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice. Short-chain CP have persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics that post a number of health risks. The company will also submit pre-manufacture notices to EPA for various medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated paraffin products.

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According to the EPA, Dover Chemical violated a section of the Toxic Substances Control Act by manufacturing short-chained, medium-chained and long-chained chlorinated paraffins without first submitting a pre-manufacture notice to the Administrator of EPA at least 90 days before manufacturing such substances. The agency said such a notice includes information such as the specific chemical identity, use, anticipated production volume, exposure and release information, and existing available test data.

Chlorinated paraffins are chlorinated alkanes that have carbon chain lengths ranging from 10 to 38 with varying degrees of chlorination. They are broken down into three paraffin groups: short-chain (C10 -C13), medium-chain (C14-C17), and long-chain (C18-C38). The chemicals are used in cutting fluids to provide extreme pressure protection.

In a statement, Dover Chemical explained it manufactured chlorinated paraffins for well over 40 years, beginning before enactment of the Toxic Substances Control Act program. While Dover filed all appropriate paperwork in 1978 to list its CP products on the TSCA inventory of existing chemical substances, USEPA claimed in the December 2009 Notice of Violation that Dovers initial submittals did not describe its CPs in sufficient detail, the company stated. Dovers settlement resolves all of USEPAs allegations, without any finding or admission of liability on the part of Dover.

Dover President Dwain Colvin said the settlement was in the best interests of the local community, the company and its employees and customers.

While litigation was an option we discussed, Dovers culture of cooperation with all regulatory agencies and Dovers commitment to responsible environmental stewardship were major factors driving our decision to resolve this dispute with USEPA amicably, without litigation, Colvin said. The settlement also allows Dover to focus its attention and resources on serving Dovers customers and growing Dovers business for the benefit of all its many stakeholders. It is significant to note that the terms of the settlement do not require Dover to withdraw from the market any of its current CPs. As a result, Dover will be able to continue to be the leader in the production and sale of CPs for many years to come.

The proposed settlement agreement, at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.

In a statement, the International Chlorinated Paraffins Industry Association said it anticipates that this recent EPA activity will have little impact upon U.S. industrial users of CP products. [Short-chain chlorinated paraffin] is not currently manufactured in the U.S. The association noted that the requirement to submit pre-manufacture notices on existing medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated paraffins will result in the EPA re-evaluating the substances.

However, there is significant environmental, health and safety information on these substances that is already in the possession of the EPA that supports their continued manufacture and use in the U.S., the association said.