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 construction company
WHERE: McKinleyville, CA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $2,087,750
A California construction company was ordered to pay a $2 million civil penalty for alleged violations of its stormwater permit. According to the US District Court, the company allegedly discharged lead, copper, pentachlorophenol, and zinc
into Hall Creek, a Mad River tributary that exceeded permissible quantities, potentially threatening the local salmon population.
Other alleged violations include failure to implement plans, technologies, monitoring, and other preventative procedures and mechanisms, as well as failure to comply with reporting requirements of the Clean Water Act.
WHO: A biopharmaceutical research facility
WHERE: Bradley, IL
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $527,144
A research facility focused on blood-plasma treatments announced a settlement with the EPA to resolve alleged violations related to its chemical management practices. According to EPA, the research facility allegedly failed to develop written operating procedures for safely conducting activities, implement a mechanical integrity program, implement an emergency response program with instructions on the use of relevant equipment, and meet recordkeeping requirements.
The company has already taken steps to comply with Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan
requirements by hiring additional personnel to address the alleged violations. It has also agreed to pay a six-figure civil penalty.
WHO: An agricultural servicer
WHERE: Rio Oso, CA
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $50,578
EPA has reached an agreement with a company that provides crop maintenance services over alleged FIFRA violations. After a series of inspections by State and Federal investigators, EPA found that the company allegedly produced pesticides in an unregistered establishment, distributed and sold misbranded pesticides
, and failed to maintain equipment properly.
EPA claims two pesticides were being repackaged and distributed with improper labeling. While at the facilities, inspectors also found that a secondary containment unit and loading pad, both used to contain potential spills, were allegedly not up to industry standards.
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