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 metal waste recycler
WHERE: Chicago, IL
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $530,000 plus $8 million in site improvements
A Chicago metal recycler has agreed to improve its operations to reduce air pollution after their facility allegedly exceeded State and Federal particulate emission and fugitive dust limits
. Particulate matter is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Breathing air with high levels of particulate matter has been linked to heart and respiratory problems.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company will invest approximately $8 million to bring the facility back into compliance with its emissions limits, with improved capture and collection systems for particulate matter and dust. The company agreed to also pay a $530,000 penalty.
WHO: Farm equipment supplier
WHERE: Meridian, ID
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $25,040
On February 27, an Idaho-based agricultural equipment distributor an agreement with EPA to resolve alleged violations of FIFRA. According to the EPA, the company allegedly imported misbranded products
into the US with improper labeling between June 26, 2019, and July 29, 2019.
Under FIFRA it is unlawful for any person to distribute or sell to any person any misbranded pesticide. The company agreed to pay a penalty of $25,040.
WHO: An agricultural company
WHERE: Wenatchee, WA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $10,600
EPA filed an expedited settlement agreement with a farming company in the Pacific Northwest after the company allegedly violated the Clean Air Act’s
risk management plan provisions. The EPA alleges the company failed to ensure that adequate inspection and testing was performed on refrigeration equipment to prevent a potentially catastrophic release of anhydrous ammonia that could impact the community surrounding its facility.
The company agreed to pay a penalty of $10,600.
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