For Immediate Release
February 8, 2012
K. Allen Brooks, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that the State has reached a settlement with PetSmart, Inc. ("PetSmart") in the amount of $15,000. The settlement resolves allegations that PetSmart sold pet products in flexible PVC packaging that contained levels of cadmium that exceeded State regulatory limits and failed to submit Certificates of Compliance upon request.
Under the terms of the settlement, PetSmart, which operates five retail stores in New Hampshire, did not admit liability for the alleged violations but agreed to pay a settlement totaling $15,000 to the State. Half of this money is paid as a penalty and the remainder will be used to further enforcement of laws prohibiting toxic metals in packaging material. In addition, PetSmart will implement internal measures to ensure that no further violations occur, including measures to ensure that Certificates of Compliance are submitted on time.
Manufacturers sometimes use substances like lead and cadmium in packaging to increase flexibility or to protect from ultra-violet rays. Although these substances may pose no threat to those handling the packaging, when the packaging material is disposed of in landfills or incinerators, these toxic metals can enter the environment and pose a risk to health and safety. State law requires manufacturers and suppliers to provide a Certificate of Compliance with respect to packaging material within 60 days of a request. The State currently coordinates its implementation of the law with 10 other states through the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse ("TPCH").
Copies of the settlement agreement between the State and PetSmart are available upon request.
For more information on New Hampshire's toxics in packaging program, contact Sharon Yergeau, Solid Waste Compliance Assurance Section, at (603) 271-2906.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301