Processing Magazine

INEOS to stop importing short-chain chlorinated paraffins into US

August 23, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with INEOS Chlor Americas, Inc., based in Wilmington, Del., to resolve violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

INEOS allegedly imported various chain-length chlorinated paraffins into the United States without providing the required notice to EPA. Under this settlement INEOS has ended the importation of short-chain chlorinated paraffins into the United States.

“EPA’s short-chained chlorinated paraffin action plan, part of the Administrator’s priority for Assuring the Safety of Chemicals, identified significant environmental risks for these chemicals,” said Cynthia Giles assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “With this settlement we have removed all known major sources of this chemical from the marketplace. We will continue to coordinate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent future illegal importation of these chemicals.”

According to EPA’s website, short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), used as lubricants and coolants for metal working and as plasticizers and flame retardants in plastics, are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic to aquatic life. Even relatively small releases of these chemicals from individual manufacturing, processing or waste management facilities have the potential to accumulate over time to higher levels and have been detected in wildlife and humans.

INEOS has also agreed to provide the notices required by TSCA Section 5 to the EPA for any medium or long-chain chlorinated paraffin it wishes to import after the date of lodging of the decree. Submission of these notices by INEOS will enable EPA to identify and evaluate the health and environmental effects, exposures, releases and risks posed by these chemical substances. If appropriate, EPA will initiate an action under TSCA section 5 to address any unreasonable risks posed by the chlorinated paraffins.

INEOS will pay a $175,000 civil penalty.