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 cold storage facility
WHERE: Greenley, CO
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $156,081
According to EPA, a Colorado-based cold storage facility violated several Clean Air Act Risk Management Program
requirements related to the management of anhydrous ammonia. This includes deficiencies associated with safety and emergency contact information, hazard analysis, mechanical integrity, operating procedures, and compliance audits.
The company has already corrected all deficiencies and has agreed to pay the $156,081 penalty. Deficiencies relating to safe management of anhydrous ammonia are among the most common violations for companies that use cold storage systems.
WHO: An engineering and construction contractor
WHERE: Unalaska, AK
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $62,500
An Alaskan contractor reached an agreement with Federal environmental officials to resolve alleged violations of Alaska’s Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Multi-Sector General Permit requirements. The alleged violations, which EPA discovered during a 2018 inspection, include failure to conduct required annual training,
inspections, monitoring, sampling, and reporting.
The company also agreed to an Administrative Order on Consent to ensure its quarry operations come into compliance with the Clean Water Act, EPA regulations, and Alaska’s Multi-Sector General Permit.
WHO: A wood preservation company
WHERE: Fruitland, MD
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $50,000
After an EPA inspection, a Maryland-based wood treatment company was cited for multiple RCRA violations, including improper hazardous waste management methods and substandard wood preserving drip pad conditions, among others. The company has resolved these violations and is now back in compliance.
The wood preserving industry utilizes drip pads to catch excess wood preservative liquid to prevent its seepage into soil or groundwater. In this case, over time, the pad deteriorated and possessed cracks and gaps, which might have allowed a hazardous wood preservative called Chromated Copper Arsenate
(CCA) to enter below the pad surface or into the surrounding soil and groundwater.
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