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.
: A large-scale logistics facility
: Magnolia, AR
: Clean Water Act violations
A company that stores and ships hazardous substances has reached a settlement with EPA after multiple alleged violations led to an oil spill at its facility in 2013
, just 3.5 miles from Ouachita River tributaries. EPA and the State of Arkansas allege the oil spill was the result of the company’s failure to properly operate and maintain the facility, including a failure to properly manifest, transport, and dispose of hazardous wastes.
As part of the settlement, the company agrees to test the water quality and soil in areas impacted by the spill and perform any remedial action if necessary. The company also agrees to conduct spill response training and establish caches of spill response materials at its facility.
A chemical manufacturing plant
Clean Air Act, RCRA, and Clean Water Act violations
EPA has reached a settlement with a chemical manufacturer after multiple alleged RCRA, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act violations. The company has agreed to pay a six-figure penalty and install and implement facility improvements.
The facility will also hire a professional engineer to complete a piping audit, submit a compliance plan based on the wastewater sampling results, and update its stormwater pollution prevention plan.
Alleged RCRA violations include failure to comply with emission control requirements for process vents, control devices, hazardous waste tanks, and equipment leaks among other violations. Alleged violations of the Clean Air Act include failure to meet control efficiency requirements, failure to operate and maintain monitoring equipment, and a lack of proper recordkeeping. The facility also allegedly exceeded effluent discharge limits into regional sewer systems among other Clean Water Act violations.
: A used motor oil recycler
: Bridgeport, CT
: EPCRA violations
A facility that receives and transfers used motor oil for recycling must pay a $82,000 penalty after alleged toxic chemical reporting issues. EPA alleges that the company failed to timely submit Federally mandated forms for six hazardous chemicals
it received and transported in 2015.
The alleged oversight was partially due to a miscalculation of full-time employees at the facility at the time. The company has since submitted the proper paperwork to EPA as part of the agreement.
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