New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
January 6, 2017

Contact:
K. Allen Brooks, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Chief, Environmental Protection Bureau
Via email: allen.brooks@doj.nh.gov
Office: (603) 271-3679

Design Standards to pay $96,000 for Mishandling of Hazardous Waste

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise of the New Hampshire Dept. of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that the Sullivan County Superior Court (Tucker, J.) has entered a Consent Decree resolving claims against Design Standards Corporation ("Design Standards") and GMI Holdings, LLC (collectively "Defendants") for violations related to the handling and disposal of hazardous wastes. The Consent Decree, reflecting a settlement reached by the State and the Defendants, requires the Defendants to pay $96,000 to the State's Hazardous Waste Cleanup Fund.

The violations occurred at the Defendants' facility in Charlestown, New Hampshire where Design Standards manufactures precision, stainless steel medical devices such as surgical staplers and instrumentation. During the manufacturing process, Design Standards Corp. uses a finishing process called "electropolishing" that results in rinse water and other wastes that are high in substances such as chromium. During a 2013 inspection, DES determined that Design Standards did not adequately identify hazardous waste and mismanaged a listed hazardous wastewater treatment sludge by delivering it to a solid waste landfill in Newport, Vermont. Design Standards also failed to perform adequate used oil determinations and have a readily accessible contingency plan in case of an emergency.

DES has determined that the Defendants have remedied all of the problems previously identified by the State and are currently operating in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Design Standards had previously paid a $7,100 fine for hazardous waste violations in 2002.

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