EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 4/20
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 poultry processing company
A company operating five poultry processing facilities in the Southeast has been fined for alleged improper use of anhydrous ammonia during the company’s refrigeration processes. EPA alleges the facilities, among other infractions, failed to identify hazards associated with its ammonia refrigeration systems and failed to design and maintain a safe facility by not adequately training employees and by not conducting inspections and testing operating equipment.
WHERE: Five facilities in AL and MS
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $106,250 plus $398,438 in emergency response equipment donations
Under the terms of the agreement, the poultry company took steps to return the five facilities to compliance and will donate emergency response equipment to local fire departments.
WHO: A bulk oil terminal operator
Federal officials reached an agreement with an Idaho-based oil company related to an oil spill at the company’s oil terminal. In 2017, an estimated 3,800 gallons of R99 Biodiesel were allegedly released into the subsurface and groundwater surrounding the plant with some biodiesel entering the nearby Columbia River.
WHERE: Wenatchee, WA
WHAT: Clean Water Act & SPCC Plan violations
HOW MUCH: $289,200
During the subsequent investigations, EPA found violations in SPCC Plan requirements, including failure to conduct pipeline integrity and leak testing during installation, modification, construction, relocation, or replacement. The company has since cooperated with State and Federal environmental officials and closed the facility.
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WHO: A bulk fuel storage facility
An oil facility in the Pacific Northwest has settled with EPA over alleged SPCC violations, including uncontrolled and unmonitored site drainage; lack of adequate secondary containment for piping, transfer areas, bulk storage and other containers; and an inadequate tank integrity program.
WHERE: John Day, OR
WHAT: SPCC Plan violations
HOW MUCH: $27,000
The bulk fuel storage facility is located within 400 feet of Canyon Creek and one mile from the John Day River, a tributary of the Columbia River. By signing the Consent Agreement, the oil company has agreed to pay a $27,000 penalty.
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