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 chemical manufacturer
WHERE: Stow, OH
WHAT: TSCA violations
HOW MUCH: $357,000
An Ohio chemical manufacturer reached a settlement with EPA over its alleged chemical data reporting violations
. Between 2012 and 2015, the company allegedly failed to submit data reports for 18 chemical substances as required by TSCA. The company imports various chemicals for businesses that formulate rubber, plastics, adhesives, sealants, and coatings.
The new consent agreement and final order resolves the alleged violations and requires a $357,000 civil penalty to be paid in installments within 18 months. Companies are required to give EPA information on the chemicals they manufacture or import into the United States. EPA uses this data to help determine any potential human health and environmental hazards.
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WHO: A cattle ranch
WHERE: Craig, CO
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $265,000
According to EPA, a Colorado cattle ranch and its subsidiary allegedly discharged dredged/fill material into waters of the United States without the appropriate Clean Water Act Section 404 permit
. Between 2012 to 2015, the companies allegedly discharged the dredged/fill materials into Vermillion Creek and its adjacent wetlands in order to construct a bridge on public lands.
Under a proposed settlement, the defendants agreed to remove the unauthorized bridge, restore the impacted 8.47 acres of wetlands adjacent to the creek, place a deed restriction on its property to protect the restored wetlands, and plant dozens of cottonwood trees to replace those previously removed from Federal lands.
WHO: A concrete recycler
WHERE: Omaha, NE
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $150,000
A company involved in concrete recycling and sales allegedly discharged pollutants into protected waters adjacent to its facility without obtaining the required permits. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to restore the damaged streams and pay a $150,000 civil penalty.
During two inspections in 2019, EPA investigators found evidence that the company allegedly used mechanized equipment
to move concrete rubble, construction debris, and other pollutants into Thomas Creek and Little Papillon Creek in Nebraska, impacting approximately 1,300 feet of stream channel.
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