EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 5/1
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All accusations of environmental violations herein are “alleged” unless otherwise noted. Lion News does not publish names of individuals or companies impacted by EPA enforcement.
A firm that gathers, processes, and transports natural gas will pay a $610,000 civil penalty and spend $2.6 million on facility upgrades to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.
WHO: A midstream natural gas company
WHERE: East OH and West PA
WHAT: Alleged Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: About $3 million
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According to EPA, the company failed to obtain the proper permits or keep proper records pursuant to volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from facility maintenance activities. The emissions occurred while using devices called “pipe inspection gauges,” or “pigs” to remove debris from and push liquid through a pipeline. To use “pigs,” employees must depressurize and vent equipment, releasing emissions.
The Consent Decree states that this is “the first civil enforcement action brought by the United States… concerning emissions from natural gas pig launchers and receivers at compressor stations or at stand-alone facilities.”
WHO: An eyeglasses lens manufacturer
For repeatedly discharging untreated wastewaters containing metal alloys, potassium hydroxide, and other regulated hazardous substances to a wastewater treatment plant, an eyeglass lens maker will pay a $750,000 criminal fine for Clean Water Act violations.
WHERE: Clackamas, OR
WHAT: Illegal hazardous waste water discharge
HOW MUCH: $750,000
A Federal Judge ordered the company to pay after US EPA and the Department of Justice showed that the company misrepresented the characteristics of its wastewater on a CWA-required industrial user survey distributed by the treatment plant. By ignoring its compliance responsibilities, the company was able to save nearly $400,000 on proper disposal costs, DOJ says.
There’s “empty” and then there’s “RCRA-empty.” This distinction may have tripped up a packaging company in Bristol, TN, that allegedly released hazardous waste drums containing residue of ink wastes to a hauler not equipped to dispose of them properly. According to the Herald Courier, the hauler kept the drums on various properties and in abandoned houses not authorized for hazmat storage.
WHO: A packaging company
WHERE: Bristol, TN
WHAT: Improper disposal of waste residues
HOW MUCH: $60,000
It’s worth noting that when regulators inspected the packaging company’s warehouse on February 14, 2018, they did not record a single violation of hazardous waste requirements, according to records.
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