The University of Bridgeport (UB) has paid a $12,900 fine and will complete a supplemental environmental project (SEP) worth at least $56,000 to settle violations of federal law for improper storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
According to EPA, PCBs were improperly disposed when PCB transformer oil from two transformers on UB’s campus spilled/leaked onto the transformer cabinets, the concrete pads that the transformers stood on, and the nearby ground.
UB then failed to properly store both transformers, mark the storage areas with the proper labeling, and failed to mark each transformer with the date it was removed from service. These are pretty patently outrageous violations of law in this day and age, especially from an institution of higher education.
UB has since sent the two PCB transformers to a disposal facility authorized for PCB waste and has addressed a PCB cleanup for the concrete pads and the surrounding affected areas.
In addition to paying a penalty, UB will perform a SEP that involves taking an inventory of all transformers on its campus, determining the PCB content of each transformer, and either retrofilling or disposing of all transformers with PCB content equal to or greater than 50 ppm.
UB has also agreed to fulfill all of the terms and conditions of its current, EPA-approved PCB cleanup plan, submit a remedial action plan (RAP) to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) to close three former underground storage tanks on its site, and then carry out that plan once it is approved by CT DEP.
No word of the impact of this settlement on tuition for next year.