UNION CITY -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Union City pipe manufacturer $158,000 for improperly handling hazardous waste containing chemical elements that posed a threat to worker safety.

The EPA last year inspected U.S. Pipe at 1295 Whipple Road and discovered on the ground a type of dust that contains lead and cadmium, chemical elements that can be toxic for humans under certain conditions.

The waste, known as "baghouse dust," is generated from the manufacturing of iron pipes, according to the EPA. The presence of the dust violated terms of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which requires that hazardous waste be stored in closed and labeled containers.

Following the agency's findings, U.S. Pipe removed the dust and soil where it was found, sampled the plant to ensure all contamination was removed, and improved staff training in proper dust management, the EPA said.

"Preventing the release of this dust is critical to protect U.S. Pipe workers and the environment," said Jared Blumenfeld, an EPA official.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at twitter.com/cdebenedetti.



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