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 boatyard and marina
WHERE: Honolulu, HI
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $127,821
EPA recently announced a settlement with a marina in Honolulu to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. According to EPA, the marina allegedly discharged contaminants such as lead, zinc, and copper into Honolulu’s Ke‘ehi Lagoon
via stormwater runoff.
Under the settlement, the marina developed a Stormwater Pollution Control Plan, resurfaced the 1.3-acre boatyard area to prevent discharges from work areas, implemented a plan to monitor for pollutants, and conducted employee training and daily inspections.
WHO: A ship maintenance facility
WHERE: Piti, GU
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $68,388
A shipyard in Guam is expected to pay over $68K after the alleged discharge of contaminants into Apra Harbor. Under a new settlement with EPA, the shipyard will install preventative measures in to reduce the discharge of pollutants like sandblast and paint debris
in stormwater to the harbor. Sandblast and paint debris contain metals that harm aquatic life and sensitive coral reef ecosystems.
The shipyard has taken steps to ensure Clean Water Act compliance in the future. Since being alerted to the violations, the shipyard obtained the appropriate discharge permit, developed a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan to control pollutants, installed controls to contain sandblast and paint debris, and developed a plan to prevent non-stormwater discharges from entering Apra Harbor.
WHO: A cold storage company
WHERE: Des Moines, IA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $65,008
As a result of inspections in March 2020, EPA identified several alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program
standards related to a cold storage company’s chemical management practices at three of its facilities. During the inspections, EPA determined that the company failed to submit and implement risk management plans and a hazard assessment concerning the potential release of anhydrous ammonia.
In response to EPA’s inspection, the company took the necessary steps to return the facilities to compliance. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a $65,008 civil penalty.
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