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: An oil refinery
WHERE: North Salt Lake, UT
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $344,364
EPA announced a Clean Air Act settlement with a Utah oil refinery to address violations of Risk Management Plan requirements at its petroleum refining facility in North Salt Lake. According to a 2016 inspection, EPA found deficiencies in the company’s management of flammable mixtures and hydrofluoric acid
The company has been cooperative in correcting all alleged deficiencies and has also agreed to improve the maintenance of process equipment to reduce the possibility of an accidental release of hazardous chemicals at the facility.
WHO: An agricultural distributor
WHERE: Exeter, Oxnard, Modesto, and Kerman, CA
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $88,000
An agricultural formulator and distributor reached an agreement with EPA over its alleged FIFRA violations. Following 2018 and 2019 inspections at the four facilities, investigators allege the company failed to seal cracks
in containment structures and loading pads, failed to generate and maintain repackaging records, failed to attach and maintain complete product labels, and offered for sale misbranded products.
Federal pesticide laws require proper pesticide handling, labeling and packaging, as well as registration of pesticide products and pesticide production facilities. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
WHO: A residential developer
WHERE: Coeur d'Alene, ID
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $20,325
EPA recently concluded an Expedited Settlement Agreement with a developer in the Pacific Northwest, resolving Federal construction permit violations for preventing stormwater pollution
. EPA alleges the company failed to install and maintain erosion and sediment control measures, conduct and document over 25 inspections, and update and maintain Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) records.
Since erosion often leads to sediment and other pollutants entering the nearby waterways (such as the Spokane River in this case), EPA estimates that this action prevented over 170,000 lbs. of sediment from migrating offsite.
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