Fulflex hit with EPA fine

Friday May 3, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro company that produces elastic products will pay a civil penalty for clean air violations at its Putney Road facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.

Fulflex, which manufactures and distributes natural and synthetic rubber and elastic, will pay $198,500 for violating a number of conditions of the company’s air permit issued by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

Fulflex is owned by The Moore Company, a Rhode Island-based elastics and plastic company that owns subsidiaries all over the world. The company did not return phone calls Thursday.

According to an EPA press release, Fulflex violated conditions pertaining to the operation and maintenance of its emissions control system and record keeping. The company also violated federal regulations encouraging the recapture and recycling of listed refrigerants during the service, maintenance and repair of covered appliances.

The violations resulted in the release of particulate matter above the permitted limit and made compliance monitoring difficult for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA, the EPA said.

David Deegan, a spokesman for the EPA’s New England regional office in Boston, said the Brattleboro elastics plant was inspected in February 2011 as part of the federal agency’s routine process of inspecting facilities with permits pertaining to air quality, waste water discharge or hazardous materials.

Fulflex was founded in 1932. The company produces elastics for a variety of products ranging from baby diapers to golf balls.

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Air Pollution Control Director Dick Valentinetti said EPA did the inspection and handed down the fine without consulting his department.

Valentinetti said that EPA has the authority to enforce the Clean Air Act, but he also said the state did not consider the violation to be a major problem.

"The EPA wrote up the violation with only limited consultation from the state," Valentinetti said. "It seems like the state has too little to say in the process."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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