EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/21

Posted on 2/21/2017 by Roger Marks

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.
For the second time in six months, EPA last month raised its fines for noncompliance with major environmental programs. We hope that providing information about EPA enforcement cases will help you identify and fix noncompliance issues that could leave your company facing costly penalties and future liability.

Who:  A poultry farm
Where: Sanger, CA
What: EPCRA and Clean Air Act Violations
How Much: $242,980

US EPA EPCRA violation for chicken farmOnce again, a food-related company has been fined for violations of the Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan requirements the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) stemming from a release of anhydrous ammonia.

This time, a California chicken farm will pay $242,980 and complete environmental projects valued at about $200,000. Violations of the Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan (RMP) rules included failure to training employees, properly fit employees for PPE, perform required annual inspections, properly label anhydrous ammonia equipment, and more. 

In addition to the Clean Air Act violations, the company violated EPCRA when it failed to notify the National Reponses Center of three anhydrous ammonia releases in 2014, 2015, and 2016 which resulted in the medical treatment and/or hospitalization of at least 20 employees.

Questions about US EPA chemical inventory and release reporting compliance? The new Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online Course guides EHS managers through reporting responsibilities under EPCRA and CERCLA/Superfund.  Sign up here and get six months of Lion Membership included with the course.

Who: An Alaskan City   
Where: Palmer, AK
What: Clean Water Act violations
How Much: $192,162

TO settle alleged Clean Water Act violations at its city-owned and operated wastewater treatment plant, the city of Palmer, AK will pay a six-figure civil penalty, according to US EPA.

According to the press release, the city violated its discharge permit more than 2,000 times. Pollutants discharged into a channel of the Matanuska River included ammonia, fecal coliform, pH, total suspended solids (TSS), and more. In addition to paying a steep civil penalty, the city will upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to use a system shown to be more effective at low temperatures.

Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training

Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field, or need an update on changing EPA rules, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise. Check out the latest EPA compliance training options here:
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The 2017 nationwide schedule for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is now available. Collaborate with other managers to identify the requirements that apply to your facility, ask the right questions, and make the right decisions about EPA compliance.

Tags: anhydrous ammonia, EPA, EPA Enforcement Roundup, fines and penalties

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