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Companies respond to Rhode Island lead paint plan

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A lead paint cleanup plan by the state of Rhode Island has been challenged by the three companies charged with the task.

Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings have argued the plan is unnecessary because of lead paint educational programs already instituted by the state of Rhode Island, which the companies say have led to a significant decrease in lead paint cases in children over the past 10 years.

In their argument, attorneys for Sherwin-Williams called the cleanup plan “the most elaborate, invasive, gold-plated experiment in lead abatement ever conceived.”

The Rhode Island Attorney General’s office has contended the multibillion-dollar clean-up provisions are necessary and unveiled last week a plan to grant $1.2 million to six state agencies that deal with lead paint education. The Attorney General’s office is “instituting a comprehensive multi-year, multimillion dollar program that includes elements of education, outreach and training, as well as remediation and enforcement of lead safety regulations,” according to a press release.

In other news, Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams recently agreed to pay the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency $50,000 to settle hazardous waste violations at seven of the company’s facilities throughout the state.

According to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, between 2003 and 2005, Sherwin-Williams caused multiple containers of hazardous waste to be transported to a facility not permitted to accept hazardous waste. The company has since come into compliance, the EPA said in a news release.

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Huttig to close two branches

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Huttig Building Products, a distributor of millwork, building materials and wood products, has announced its intention to close facilities in Greensburg, Pa., and Kansas City, Mo., in response to market conditions.

Greensburg customers will be served from distribution facilities in Columbus, Ohio, and Lancaster, Pa. The company will cover the Kansas City market from its facility in Springfield, Mo.

Huttig expects to save approximately $2.0 million before taxes as a result of the consolidation, which will also involve downsizing its corporate office in St. Louis.

Approximately 50 positions will be eliminated at the two closed branches, although some employees may transfer to other locations, according to the Huttig announcement. Another 30 positions have been cut at other branches and at Huttig headquarters during the fourth quarter of 2007, the company said.

Huttig currently operates through 36 locations serving the building, remodeling, industrial and manufactured homes market in 44 states.

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PAL president to retire

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Progressive Affiliated Lumbermen Cooperative (PAL), a building materials co-op based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has announced the retirement of its long-time president, William “Bill” Danzig, on Dec. 31, 2007.

A29-year veteran of the company, Danzig started as an assistant general manager before being promoted to executive vp and general manager. He assumed the title of president in the mid-1980s.

Danzig’s replacement has not yet been named, according to a PAL spokesperson.

Established in 1934, PAL is a member-owned buying group of independent lumberyards with dealers in 17 states throughout the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic regions.

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