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 ethanol manufacturer
WHERE: Winthrop, MN
WHAT: RCRA and Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $53,000
A company that produces and distributes corn products has been fined for alleged failures in its performance testing, recordkeeping, and reporting processes on the operation and maintenance of its pollution control equipment. State officials also allege the company mishandled hazardous waste
and used oil and mismanaged stormwater and dust on company property.
The violations were discovered during an internal audit in 2018, after the company went through a series of managerial changes.
WHO: A bulk petroleum terminal
WHERE: Tisbury, MA
WHAT: Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1,157,000
The US District Court of Massachusetts has ordered the owner of a petroleum fuel terminal to pay penalties to resolve multiple violations of the Clean Air Act.
EPA alleges the company failed to properly operate and maintain emission control equipment; failed to repair vapor leaks from equipment; and failed to inspect, document, and report on operations.
EPA also found the company failed to comply with industrial stormwater requirements under the Clean Water Act. At the terminal, the company allegedly failed to install and maintain proper stormwater best management practices for boat cleaning operations, waste stockpiles, and oil and waste storage containers.
WHO: A fuel transportation company
WHERE: New Bedford, MA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $143,000
EPA alleges that a New England vessel shipper
failed to meet requirements for demonstrating vapor-tightness and failed to obtain an emission control plan. Gasoline vapors contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants such as benzene. Both kinds of pollutants are dangerous to human health and the environment.
The shipper has been ordered to pay a penalty for these Clean Air Act violations.
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