EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 12/6
EPA raised its maximum civil penalties in 2016, making it more critical than ever that EHS professionals understand how these complex regulatory programs affect their facilities. We hope providing information about EPA enforcement cases will help you identify and fix noncompliance issues that could leave your company facing down costly penalties and future liability.
WHO: A major cruise ship operator
Note: This enforcement action was not taken by US EPA, but instead handed down by the US Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
WHERE: Miami, FL
WHAT: Illegal discharge of oily waste
HOW MUCH: $40 million
A Miami-based cruise ship company will pay $40 million to settle allegations the company illegally dumped oil and contaminated waste from one of its cruise ships off the coast of England. A new engineer with the ship noticed the violation while on board and reported it to the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), who in turn alerted the US Coast Guard.
In addition to the $40 million fine, the company will be under the watch of an Environmental Compliance Program (ECP), which requires a court-appointed monitor and independent audits by an outside entity. According to the DOJ press release, the ship illegally discharged about 4,227 gallons of oily waste.
WHO: An auto parts retailer
For failing to properly send hazardous waste for treatment and disposal as required under California’s Title 22 hazardous waste rules and the US EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), an auto parts retailer will pay a $9,860,000 civil penalty.
WHERE: Alameda County, CA
WHAT: RCRA hazardous waste violations
HOW MUCH: $9.9 million
Per a story in the East Bay Times, the retailer send used oil, oil filters, batteries, aerosol cans, and other hazardous wastes from more than 500 of its stores to a regular landfill instead of a hazardous waste disposal facility.
WHO: An oil and gas exploration company
An oil and gas exploration firm will pay a $2.1 million civil penalty and spend an additional $2 million on supplemental environmental projects to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at 170 oil and natural gas well pads in North Dakota.
WHERE: North Dakota
WHAT: Failure to control vapor emissions of VOCs from storage tanks
HOW MUCH: $2.1 million
According to a US EPA press release, the company failed to control emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a component of ozone, from its storage tanks.
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