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MassDEP fines Cape Cod for delayed notification of spill
May '09
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) fined Cape Cod Commercial Linen Service, Inc. $1,150 for failing to notify MassDEP of a hazardous material spill in Hyannis within the state-required, two-hour timeframe.

On the morning of May 11, 2008, an employee of the laundry service was cleaning out a drum of sodium hypochlorite - a commonly used laundry bleaching agent - and dumped approximately two gallons of the liquid into a catch basin. The chemical combined with other materials in the catch basin and caused fumes to develop in the general area. The chemical reaction was observed by a passerby who contacted the Hyannis Fire Department. The fire department blocked access to the site and contacted MassDEP.

Cape Cod Commercial Linen Service hired an environmental firm to remediate the spill that afternoon. State law requires that MassDEP be contacted within two hours after the company has knowledge of a release of hazardous material, and that notification did not occur.

"Companies that utilize hazardous chemicals as part of their work process must be vigilant when it comes to every aspect of the material handling," said David Johnston, acting director of MassDEP's Southeast Regional Office in Lakeville. "Disposal of such waste is very important and mismanagement can cause serious health or environmental impacts."

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

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