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Policy

Enforcement: EPA Deal Stops Production Of Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins

by Cheryl Hogue
February 13, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 7

U.S. production of short-chain chlorinated paraffins has ceased under a settlement agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and Dover Chemical, EPA announced on Feb. 7. These substances are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, the agency says.

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins have 10 to 13 carbon atoms and three to 12 chlorine atoms per molecule, says EPA. They have been used as lubricants and coolants in metal cutting and as plasticizers and flame retardants in plastics.

“By halting production of short-chain chlorinated paraffins, this settlement will reduce undue risks to human health and the environment,” says Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant U.S. attorney general for environment and natural resources.

Dover Chemical, based in Dover, Ohio, was the last U.S. manufacturer of short-chain chlorinated paraffins. Under the deal, it will also pay $1.4 million to settle allegations that it produced a variety of chlorinated paraffins with short and longer carbon chains without notifying EPA. The agency alleges that the company failed to submit premanufacture notices for these compounds as required under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

But Dover Chemical, which has made chlorinated paraffins since before TSCA was signed into law in 1976, says it filed appropriate paperwork for its products with the agency decades ago. A statement from Dover Chemical says that EPA claims that the company’s 1978 submissions lacked sufficient detail.

Settlement terms require Dover Chemical to submit premanufacture notices for several longer-chain chlorinated paraffins it continues to make.

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