New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2015

Contact:
K. Allen Brooks, Senior Assistant Attorney General
(603) 271-3679

New Hampshire Ball Bearings to Pay $150,000 Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations Related to 2014 Explosion

Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise announced today that the State has settled with New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc. ("NHBB") for alleged hazardous waste violations that the State believes resulted in an explosion in February of 2014. The explosion occurred at the NHBB facility in Peterborough, NH. NHBB will be assessed a total civil penalty of $150,000.

The State alleged that a tank containing acid used to treat precision ball bearings was emptied into a drum that may have contained an incompatible substance like isopropyl alcohol. A reaction between these substances caused pressure to build up inside the sealed drum, leading to a violent explosion.

As part of the settlement, NHBB will use $5,000 to help local first responders. NHBB voluntarily undertook a similar program shortly after the accident and reports that it was well-received in the community. The remaining $145,000 will go to a dedicated hazardous waste fund held by the State.

Joseph Foster said: "NHBB promptly resolved the compliance issues associated with this unfortunate accident. We anticipate that they will continue to be a responsible partner in protecting the safety of NHBB employees and the welfare of the community."

For more information, contact Senior Assistant Attorney General K. Allen Brooks at 271-3679.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658