EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/5
All accusations of environmental violations herein are “alleged” unless otherwise noted. Lion News does not publish names of individuals or companies impacted by EPA enforcement.
WHO: A pipeline owner
US EPA has announced a joint Federal-State enforcement action in response to three crude oil spills that occurred between 2013 and 2015 in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Caused by pipeline corrosion, the three spills involved about 5,000 barrels of crude oil in total: 550 barrels spilled in Tyler County, TX in February 2013; 4,500 barrels in Caddo Parish, LA in October 2014; and 40 barrels in Grant County, OK in January 2015. All three spills caused crude oil to enter regulated waterways.
WHERE: Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma,
WHAT: Clean Water Act oil spill violations
HOW MUCH: $5.4 million in penalties and response costs
To resolve the Clean Water Act violations, the owner of the pipeline will pay approximately $5.4 million in civil penalties to US EPA and State regulators. In addition, the pipeline owners will work to prevent future spills by inspecting pipelines to detect corrosion and repairing defects.
EPA proposed a rule in late 2018 to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” and the scope of the Clean Water Act.
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WHO: And oilfield waste management disposal facility
The former owners of an oilfield waste disposal site have reached a settlement with the Ventura County, CA District Attorney to pay $500,000 to resolve claims they violated their waste disposal permit by accepting and disposing of hazardous Class II oil exploration wastes.
WHERE: Oxnard, CA
WHAT: Hazardous waste permit violations
HOW MUCH: $500,000
The company will pay $150,000 in civil penalties, plus $350,000 in fees and court costs, and $30,000 to the US DOT Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In addition to the financial penalties, the company is now under a permanent injunction that requires all waste to be tested and shown to be non-hazardous by the generator before it can be sent to the company’s disposal site.
Need a RCRA refresher for 2019? The next live, one-day RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher Webinar is on February 21.
WHO: A waste storage and treatment facility
For allegedly failing to maintain a liability insurance policy to cover health and property of neighbors who could be affected by a release of hazardous waste, a waste treatment and storage facility now faces a $150,000 civil penalty.
WHERE: Kent and Tacoma, Washington
WHAT: RCRA hazardous waste management violations
HOW MUCH: $150,000
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, permitted Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) must maintain accident liability insurance during the active life of their hazardous waste management units or facilities. The insurance must cover both sudden (e.g., a spill or explosion) and non-sudden accidental (e.g., prolonged or repeated exposure to hazardous waste in groundwater) releases.
Learn more about Financial Assurance Requirements for TSDFs here.
Have you seen other recent EPA enforcement actions that your colleagues can learn from? Post them on Lion’s Facebook page here. Be sure to like our page so you never miss an update about DOT hazmat, hazardous waste, OSHA workplace safety, and EPA compliance.
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