EPA Enforcement Roundup: Valentine's Day Edition

Posted on February 13,2018 by Roger Marks

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and EPA has dished out some tough love lately for alleged criminal and civil violations of environmental law and regulations.

These are only some of the cases we’ve read about in the last 30 days. See EPA Enforcement actions that colleagues can learn from? Post them on Lion’s Facebook page hereDon’t forget to like Lion’s page so you never miss an update about DOT hazmat, hazardous waste, OSHA workplace safety, and EPA compliance.

In last week’s EPA Enforcement Roundup, A California wine maker, a coke plant in Indiana, and a manufacturer in New York all paid dearly for alleged EPA violations.


WHO: A petroleum processor
WHERE: Wilmington, DE
WHAT: Criminal Clean Water Act Violations, more
HOW MUCH: $3,500,000

Refinery_petroleum_tanks_storage_69731665.jpgFor criminal EPA violations include conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act, a Delaware-based used oil processor will pay a $1.3 million criminal penalty and fork over $2.2 million in restitution to the City of Wilmington. According to EPA and a US District Court Judge, the company tampered with monitoring devices and monthly samples required under the Clean Water Act and the facility’s pretreatment permit.

In addition, the company violated RCRA hazardous waste standards (and, incidentally, US DOT hazmat shipping rules) when it trucked disposal sludge from storage tanks containing benzene, barium, chromium, cadmium, lead, PCE, and TCE. The company shipped the waste without providing a Hazardous Waste Manifest for the shipment.


WHO: A global agriculture firm
WHERE: Kekaha, HI
WHAT: Violations of FIFRA pesticides worker protections
HOW MUCH:  $550,000

pesticide-applicators.jpgA seed company and food grower operating in Hawaii is under fire for failure to provide proper hazard communication and pesticide training required to protect workers who apply and work around dangerous restricted-use pesticides or RUPs.

The company allegedly failed to notify workers “verbally and with signage” to avoid recently-treated fields. As a result, workers were exposed to pesticides and some were hospitalized. The company also failed to provide adequate decontamination equipment for workers and even failed to transport affected workers to a medical facility promptly.


WHO: City of Middletown, Ohio
WHERE: Middletown, OH
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $255,000

middletown-OH.JPGA southwest Ohio city has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $55,000 for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. EPA says that the city discharged untreated sewage into two bodies of water. On top of the civil penalty, the city will spend $200,000 to protect aquatic life from contaminated sediments in the water.

Also, the city will improve its sewer system and sewage treatment plant to reduce the frequency and volume of untreated sewer overflows.
 

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