EPA announces plan for GE site cleanup
WASHINGTON—After several months of negotiations between General Electric Co. and the Environmental Protection Agency failed to produce a consensus, EPA has announced its own plan for GE to clean up an area in Pittsfield, Mass., that includes a defunct plant adjacent to GE Plastics headquarters.
As part of the plan, the site would be placed on EPA's Superfund list, which provides federal funding for the most polluted sites in the country. GE plans to fight the plan and may take legal action when the Superfund designation is up for final approval late this year. The company had opposed the move, claiming GE Plastics would have trouble recruiting employees to work near a Superfund site.
The defunct plant used polychlorinated biphenyl in insulation for electric transformers before closing in the mid-1980s. It was not affiliated with GE Plastics of Pittsfield.
Some published reports have said that GE has hinted that GE Plastics may leave Pittsfield if Superfund status is granted. But company officials have said there are no plans to relocate.
The plan, unveiled April 6, calls for GE to clean up the plant site and two miles of the Housatonic River downstream of the facility. If the firm fails to comply with the order, it could be fined as much as $27,500 a day, EPA officials said.
CI technical director leaves to join CFA
ARLINGTON, VA. — Just days after the Composites Institute's former leaders urged their members to leave and join the Composites Fabricators Association, one of CI's key staff people followed suit.
John Schweitzer, who had been CI's technical director, will become CFA's senior director of government affairs April 13. Schweitzer will report to CFA Executive Director Missy Henriksen.
CI responded April 8 by announcing it had hired consultant Daniel Boyd to lead its regulatory affairs effort. Boyd has worked with CI and its Washington-based parent, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., since 1978.
Arlington-based CFA said Schweitzer primarily will be responsible for representing the industry before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, particularly in efforts to develop emissions standards for the composites industry.
CFA President Fred Dierks said he and outgoing CI Chairman Robert DeRoma had discussions about beefing up CI's regulatory programs. CFA officials said they want to continue other industrywide regulatory partnerships that include CI.
PGK Engineering buys Mich. toolmaker
TROY, MICH. — Start-up company PGK Engineering has purchased a Detroit-area toolmaker in a move to help the firm bulk up its molding capabilities.
PGK of Troy bought Centennial Mold Inc. of Sterling Heights, Mich., April 7. Sales were not disclosed for Centennial, which makes injection molds for plastic auto parts. It employs 46, and did about $5.5 million in 1997 sales, said President Leo Jensen.
PGK is owned by Patrick Kirby, who said his new firm expects to offer full-service design, engineering, prototyping and tooling services to plastics-related auto suppliers.
The toolmaker did not fit the core business of former parent Dawson Industries Inc. of Grand Haven, Mich., Jensen said.
The 20,000-square-foot mold shop does computer numerically controlled milling, and computer-aided design and engineering. PGK expects 1998 sales of $22 million to $25 million.
Union Carbide sues UP rail for damages
DANBURY, CONN.—Union Carbide Corp. became the third plastics and chemicals firm to sue Union Pacific Railroad Co. when it filed suit March 25 for unspecified damages in U.S. District Court in Port Lavaca, Texas.
Danbury-based Carbide said it is negotiating with UP of Omaha, Neb., and hopes to reach ``an amicable solution.''
Service disruptions and delays in the Southwest rail system have curtailed shipments from Carbide plants in the region and substantially increased its distribution costs, company officials said. They said they filed the suit ``as a protective measure.''
Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., and DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del., each filed similar suits March 17 in Texas courts.