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 pet food supplier
WHERE: Crete, NE
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $100,000
A company that processes animal materials and by-products has been fined $100,000 for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. EPA alleges that on or about August 5, 2014,
the company exceeded some of its wastewater discharge limits. The limits were set forth by the wastewater permit issued by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality on June 19, 2013, to discharge wastewater into the city wastewater treatment facility.
According to wastewater flow data from the city wastewater treatment facility, there was a discharge of certain pollutants over twice the daily maximum authorized under the permit.
WHO: A petroleum wholesale distributor
WHERE: Carolina, PR
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $180,000 plus $110,000 in emergency equipment donations
Last week, EPA reached a settlement with a petroleum distributor
for gas stations and aviation fuel suppliers. The alleged violations include failure to make a hazardous waste determination, operation of hazardous waste storage facilities without a RCRA permit, and failure to comply with universal waste management requirements among other violations.
As part of the settlement, the company agrees to donate $110,000 in emergency equipment to the Puerto Rico Department of Public Security and the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Department of the Virgin Islands Ports Authority. The new equipment and gear will aid first responders in addressing fires and other emergencies.
WHO: A refrigeration facility
WHERE: Salinas, CA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $30,000 plus $105,000 in site improvements
A fresh produce storage and refrigeration facility reached a settlement with EPA over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan regulations.
EPA alleges there were deficiencies in the plant’s process safety requirements, pipe labeling, operating procedures, mechanical integrity program, documentation of personnel training, and follow-up on compliance audit findings.
The company agreed to a supplemental environmental project to enhance safety equipment and procedures at the Salinas facility. This includes installing new pumps and a new control system, which would allow an operator or emergency responder to remotely shut down the ammonia refrigeration systems, including in an emergency situation.
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:
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
New! Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Just Launched! Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online
The nationwide schedule, now with 2020 dates, for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop
is available online. Collaborate with other managers to identify the requirements that apply to your facility, ask the right questions, and make the right decisions about EPA compliance.