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 bulk silicon manufacturer
WHERE: Waterford, NY
WHAT: RCRA, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $2.3 million
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently announced a multi-million-dollar consent order to resolve various alleged violations extending back to 2007. In addition to enforcement penalties, this consent order also includes $1 million for an Environmental Benefit Project (EBP)
to benefit the Waterford and Halfmoon communities.
As part of the settlement, the company agreed to implement operational and compliance upgrades, enabling NYSDEC to keep a close watch as the facility undergoes transition to a specialty silicon manufacturing facility. Upgrades include decommissioning of its two on-site chemical incinerators and elimination of two long-term hazardous waste storage areas.
WHO: A shipping and logistics company
WHERE: Lake Ontario, NY
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $500,000
A Canadian shipping services provider was fined half a million dollars after allegedly dumping wastewater into Lake Ontario. Between May 5 and June 6, 2017,
a ship allegedly made several unauthorized discharges of oily, unprocessed bilge water as it was being delivered to the Canadian company.
Although the company itself was not responsible for all alleged discharges, the company had failed to notify the ship’s 3rd officer and the captain before personnel emptied bilge water from the wash water tank into Lake Ontario once the company obtained control of the ship.
WHO: Two marine construction firms
WHERE: Ipswich Bay, MA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $42,000
EPA reached a joint settlement with two New England marine construction companies after four alleged unauthorized discharges
just outside of Gloucester Harbor and in Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts. This amounted to approximately 939 cubic yards of unauthorized dredged material discharges.
According to EPA, one company subcontracted the other to dredge, transport, and dispose of dredged material to authorized disposal sites in the area. However, the subcontracted company allegedly discharged the material before reaching the disposal sites.
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