Every day, facilities across the US receive Notices of Violation from Federal and State environmental agencies 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.
In January 2017, EPA raised its fines for noncompliance with major environmental programs.
We hope that providing information about EPA enforcement cases will help you identify and fix noncompliance issues that could leave your company facing costly penalties and future liability.
In this week's EPA Enforcement Roundup, a meat packer, a home builder, and a gas station/convenience store will all pay big penalties for different violations of the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts.
WHO: A meat packer
WHERE: Asheboro, NC
WHAT: Alleged Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $48,000
A North Carolina-based meat-packing facility will pay for alleged Clean Water Act permit violations uncovered during an EPA Compliance Stormwater Evaluation Inspection (CSWEI) performed in 2016.
The inspectors determined that from 2011 to 2016, the facility discharged industrial stormwater from its stormwater drains and drainage ditches into a creek that is a tributary of the Deep River, a navigable water under Section 502(7) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR 122.2).
Read the EPA enforcement order here.
These discharges were made without proper authorization under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. To see how NPDES permit requirements can vary based on which state your facility is in, read: How NPDES Permit Rules Can Vary by State.
WHO: A major US home builder
WHERE: Osceola County, FL
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $95,000
For allegedly discharging dredged and/or fill material into Florida’s protected wetlands without a required Clean Water Act permit, a major US home builder will pay a $95,000 settlement to US EPA.
Dredge and fill permits are issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The rules for dredge and fill permitting can be found at 33 CFR 323. The Corps of Engineers reissued 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) earlier this year. These NWPs provide “blanket” authorization for certain activities, including some dredge-and-fill activities, under the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
WHO: A gas station and convenience store
WHERE: Captain Cook, HI
WHAT: Operating a cesspool banned under the SDWA
HOW MUCH: $57,500
US EPA has reached an agreement with a gas station and convenience store that was operating a large capacity cesspool (LCC) until 2014. LCCs have been banned under the Safe Drinking Water Act since 1995. The company, which had already replaced the cesspool with an approved wastewater system, will pay a $57,500 civil penalty.
Cesspools are more common in Hawaii than in any other US State. For this reason, EPA has an enforcement initiative in place in Hawaii that has now led to the closure of more than 1,100 LCCs statewide.
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Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field, or need an update on changing EPA rules, the Complete Environmental Regulations Online Course will help you quickly build in-depth expertise.
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The 2017 nationwide schedule for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is now available. Collaborate with other managers to identify the requirements that apply to your facility, ask the right questions, and make the right decisions about EPA compliance.