Every day, facilities across the US receive Notices of Violation from US EPA for alleged noncompliance with a wide variety of programs like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts; chemical management and reporting regulations (TSCA, EPCRA, CERCLA, etc.); hazardous waste management and disposal standards (RCRA); and much more.
Below are examples of recent EPA enforcement actions that provide insight into how and why EPA issues civil penalties to facilities for environmental noncompliance. Names of companies and individuals cited by EPA are withheld to protect their privacy.
WHO: A poultry processing company
WHERE: Five facilities in AL and MS
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $106,250 plus $398,438 in emergency response equipment donations
A company operating five poultry processing facilities in the Southeast has been fined for alleged improper use of anhydrous ammonia
during the company’s refrigeration processes. EPA alleges the facilities, among other infractions, failed to identify hazards associated with its ammonia refrigeration systems and failed to design and maintain a safe facility by not adequately training employees and by not conducting inspections and testing operating equipment.
Under the terms of the agreement, the poultry company took steps to return the five facilities to compliance and will donate emergency response equipment to local fire departments.
WHO: A bulk oil terminal operator
WHERE: Wenatchee, WA
WHAT: Clean Water Act & SPCC Plan violations
HOW MUCH: $289,200
Federal officials reached an agreement with an Idaho-based oil company related to an oil spill at the company’s oil terminal. In 2017, an estimated 3,800 gallons of R99 Biodiesel
were allegedly released into the subsurface and groundwater surrounding the plant with some biodiesel entering the nearby Columbia River.
During the subsequent investigations, EPA found violations in SPCC Plan requirements, including failure to conduct pipeline integrity and leak testing during installation, modification, construction, relocation, or replacement. The company has since cooperated with State and Federal environmental officials and closed the facility.
Lion's Developing an SPCC Plan online course helps you determine which facilities need an SPCC plan, how to design and implement one, and what's required to maintain compliance. Learn more.
WHO: A bulk fuel storage facility
WHERE: John Day, OR
WHAT: SPCC Plan violations
HOW MUCH: $27,000
An oil facility in the Pacific Northwest has settled with EPA over alleged SPCC violations, including uncontrolled and unmonitored site drainage
; lack of adequate secondary containment for piping, transfer areas, bulk storage and other containers; and an inadequate tank integrity program.
The bulk fuel storage facility is located within 400 feet of Canyon Creek and one mile from the John Day River, a tributary of the Columbia River. By signing the Consent Agreement, the oil company has agreed to pay a $27,000 penalty.
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