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 coal production facility
WHERE: Birmingham, AL
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $775,000 plus a Supplemental Environmental Project
As a result of inspections at a chemical by-products recovery facility in 2011 and 2014, EPA alleges a coal production facility violated the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
. Since then, the company has taken steps to address the alleged violations, which includes implementing corrective actions to seal and enclose the open waste streams and leaking equipment.
The Consent Decree requires the facility to pay a civil penalty of $775,000 and to conduct periodic inspections using a leak-detecting infrared thermal imaging camera.
WHO: A semiconductor manufacturer
WHERE: South Portland, ME
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $104,545
According to EPA, a manufacturing plant in Maine was storing solvent hazardous wastes in several tanks without a RCRA air emissions compliance program
in place. EPA also found that the company did not meet labeling, monitoring, and recordkeeping requirements for the equipment associated with the tanks.
Under the settlement, the company agreed to maintain compliance with federal regulations to reduce hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions. The manufacturer also certified that the facility has corrected its violations and was cooperative during EPA's enforcement investigation and the case settlement negotiations.
WHO: A seafood processing company
WHERE: South Bend, WA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $101,630
A seafood processor in Washington State allegedly violated its wastewater discharge permit
by exceeding discharge limits and using improper sampling and reporting practices. EPA brought forth the alleged violations after an inspection in 2017.
Since then, the seafood processor has agreed to pay a penalty and implement new processes and technologies to address compliance challenges at the plant.
Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training
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, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise.
Check out the latest EPA compliance training options here:
Complete Environmental Regulations
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online