Saturday May 18, 2013

BENNINGTON -- Mace Security International has reached an administrative agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency that will allow the company to again secure federal contracts.

The company said in a release that it worked with a Cleveland-based law firm and the EPA in recent months to satisfy the agency's "concerns over Mace's prior actions and activities."

A case was launched against Mace and former President Jon Goodrich in January 2008 by the EPA and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Investigators looked into waste stored at the Holden-Leonard Mill on Benmont Avenue, which is owned by Goodrich.

Investigators found 80 drums of unlabeled chemicals and no signs indicating hazardous material was being stored in and around the mill building. It was not alleged that any hazardous material escaped into the environment.

Goodrich pleaded guilty in January 2012 to one count of improperly storing hazardous waste. A $100,000 fine was part of a plea bargain reached with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont. The crime is a felony under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Mace manufactures products such as tear gas and pepper spray, which have hazardous byproducts.

The administrative agreement with the EPA lifts a suspension under the federal contract debarment program.


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"We (Mace) have a better understanding and appreciation of the tough job the EPA has in this changing world, and are fully committed to being a responsible corporate citizen," Mace President and CEO John McCann said in the release. "Mace is committed to becoming the most globally recognized consumer brand for safety, security products and services and doing so with the highest standard of integrity."

The company announced this week that it plans to move its operations in Bennington to Cleveland this summer. More than 30 local jobs are expected to be lost when the move occurs.

-- Neal P. Goswami