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Asarco fined by EPA over storage of PCBs

Keywords: Tags  copper, Asarco, environmental fine, Grupo Mexico, polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Everdeen Mason

NEW YORK — Asarco LLC has been fined $30,900 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will spend $115,714 to clean up its copper ore processing facility, which was contaminated with improperly stored toxic waste, the agency said.

In a 2011 inspection, the EPA found that Tucson, Ariz.-based Asarco had been storing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and waste at its Hayden, Ariz., plant, as well as evidence of contamination in the building’s equipment, according to documents filed Sept. 19.

Asarco executives couldn’t be reached for comment.

The company, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico SAB de CV, must dispose of the waste per EPA rules and replace three contaminated transformers.

PCBs were banned in 1979 after they were found to cause cancer and other health problems, according to the EPA.

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