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 national liquid propane distributor
WHERE: Tavares, FL
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $400,000
US EPA and Department of Justice (DOJ) have reached an agreement with a company that distributes small propane cannisters to retailers over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA). According to investigators, workers at the company’s Tavares facility improperly vented several cylinders to the atmosphere when a spark from a forklift ignited the propane gas
, resulting in a chain reaction and a large series of explosions.
EPA alleged the company violated Section 112(r)(1) of the CAA by failing to identify hazards that may result from accidental releases of propane gas using appropriate hazard assessment techniques. The company has agreed to purchase and install new equipment for accident prevention and mitigation, designate a safe “Vent Zone,” and revise several of its standard operating procedures
WHO: An aerospace repair and overhaul servicer
WHERE: Kent, WA
WHAT: EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $66,300
According to EPA, a company that repairs and overhauls aircraft propellers violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act’s (EPCRA) Section 312. The company allegedly failed to report storage of a hazardous chemical
at its facility in Kent.
The propeller servicer agreed to pay a $66,300 penalty to resolve the alleged violations.
WHO: A used oil recycler
WHERE: Tacoma, WA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $26,500
A company that recycles used oil has reached an agreement with EPA to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act. The company, which operates a transfer station for used oil
, allegedly discharged pollutants into Commencement Bay.
According to EPA, the recycler was also allegedly operating in violation of the Washington State Multi-Sector General Permit by failing to monitor discharge for petroleum hydrocarbons, failing to implement corrective action, failing to properly document inspections and retain records, and failing to conduct employee training.
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