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 American oil company
WHERE: Butte, MT
WHAT: CERCLA violations
HOW MUCH: $150 million
EPA reached an agreement with a multinational oil company to clean up mining contamination at the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU) site, a portion of the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area superfund site.
The cleanup activities required under the consent decree include removal of contaminated tailings at the Northside and Diggings East Tailings areas, along with contaminated sediments and additional floodplain contamination from Silver Bow and Blacktail Creeks. It also requires more extensive treatment of contaminated stormwater before it flows into the creeks and the capture and treatment of additional contaminated groundwater.
WHO: A sand and gravel supplier
WHERE: Glendive, MT
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $95,000
A Montana sand and gravel supplier has been cited by EPA for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. According to Federal officials, the company violated provisions of its state‑issued industrial stormwater discharge permit and failed to follow EPA oil spill prevention regulations
at one of its facilities.
This proposed settlement resulted from inspections conducted by EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $95,000. The sand and gravel supplier previously completed work to comply with the Clean Water Act’s stormwater requirements under a consent order signed with EPA in 2018.
WHO: A chemical manufacturing facility
WHERE: Waterloo, IA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $79,900
EPA has cited a Midwest chemical manufacturer for alleged violations of Federal Clean Air Act chemical accident prevention regulations following an accidental chemical release that injured an employee. During a subsequent inspection, EPA found the facility contained over 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia, making it subject to the Risk Management Program
In response to the inspection findings, the company took necessary steps to return its facility to compliance. To settle the alleged violations, the company also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $79,900.
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