EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 4/26
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 dairy creamery
According to EPA, a New England dairy processor submitted three Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports after the established due date. A 2017 TRI report for nitric acid was due by July 1, 2018 and two 2018 TRI reports for nitric acid and nitrate compounds were due by July 1, 2019. The three reports were successfully submitted in May 2020 after the company was contacted by EPA.
WHERE: St. Albans, VT
WHAT: EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $58,765
Under Federal TRI regulations, companies that use certain listed chemicals must report their chemical usage each year to EPA. This information serves as the basis for the Toxic Release Inventory, which is a collection of data that can be reviewed by communities as well as government and industry entities.
WHO: A fertilizer mixing facility
A facility that manufactures and distributes fertilizers took steps to bring the site into compliance with Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulations after allegedly failing to submit and implement a risk management plan to prevent the release of aqueous ammonia. The company stores over 20,000 pounds of aqueous ammonia in concentrations over 20% at the facility, which would be subject to RMP requirements.
WHERE: Dodge City, KS
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $83,975
RMP regulations require facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a risk management plan that identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident, the steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident, and the emergency response procedures should an accident occur.
WHO: A wood preservative manufacturer
EPA alleges that a pesticide manufacturing company mislabeled one of its wood preservatives over the course of 24 months between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. The labels allegedly did not include user safety requirements, first-aid directions, PPE use instructions. Required portions of the storage and disposal section were also allegedly not present.
WHERE: Portland, OR
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $165,000
The case resulted from an inspection by Oregon Department of Agriculture on March 5, 2019. Under FIFRA, a pesticide label must contain directions for use and a warning or caution statement, which may be necessary “…to protect health and the environment.”
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