Phoenix Color faces $12,000 MDE fine

June 14, 2000|By DON WORTHINGTON

Phoenix Color Corp. is facing a $12,000 fine from the state Department of the Environment for installing and operating two printing presses before it received required permits.

A company official said Tuesday the problem stems from the department's failure to expedite permit requests.

A Department of the Environment official said Wednesday the company didn't allow enough time for the state to review the permit requests.

Company and Department of the Environment officials are to meet June 21 to informally discuss permitting problems at the company's Hagerstown plants.

The Department of the Environment cited the company on May 10 for installing and operating two printing presses at the Western Maryland Parkway plant without first obtaining the necessary air quality permits.


Pars Ramnarian, chief of the Department of the Environment's processing complaint division, said the permit application was filed Nov. 15, 1999, and inspectors found the printing press operating during a Feb. 10 visit. Information indicated the press was operational as early as December, he said.

Ramnarian said it usually takes three months to review a permit request. He said such permit violations are common in the printing industry.

"About a few each year," he said.

George White, vice president for engineering at Phoenix Color, said Tuesday the citation was the result of lack of communication between the permitting and compliance sections of the Department of the Environment.

"We have an agreement with the state to expedite our permit applications. They haven't been doing that," White said.

The permits have since been issued.

The Western Maryland Parkway plant makes book covers for textbooks.

The action did not involve the company's plant near Hagerstown Regional Airport.

In February 1999, the Department of the Environment cited the company when three of its book-binding presses at that plant violated state requirements regarding alcohol and temperature limits. The company paid a $39,000 fine.

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