EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/11
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 petroleum refinery
An Ohio oil refinery reached a multi-million-dollar agreement with State and Federal agencies to resolve alleged violations of several environmental regulations. This agreement is also intended to resolve alleged violations of a consent agreement established in 2001.
WHERE: Oregon, Ohio
WHAT: Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $2.6 million plus a $1.2 million supplemental environmental project
Not only will the refinery pay over $3.8 million in penalties, the agreement also requires injunctive relief related to the company’s continuous emissions monitoring systems, leak detection and repair program, wastewater collection systems, and hazardous substance release reporting procedures. The company must also perform a mitigation project involving the refinery’s sulfur recovery plant.
WHO: A pool supply company
EPA has issued a penalty against a company that sells pool supplies for allegedly selling an unregistered pesticide. The action requires the company to halt sales, distribution, and transport of the pool disinfectant after a statewide stop-sale order was issued in 2018 by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
WHERE: Phoenix, AZ
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $800,000
Under Federal law, companies must provide formulation and production data to EPA in registering a pesticide product. This ensures the efficacy and integrity of products for consumers. Federal pesticide laws also require registration of pesticide products and proper pesticide labeling and packaging. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
WHO: A paper and chemical processing facility
A paper and chemical manufacturer came under EPA scrutiny after a 2015 inspection allegedly uncovered a lack of air pollution controls at two wood pulp washers. Since then, the company has announced it would permanently shut down some equipment and processes supporting the pulp mill portion of its paper manufacturing operations at its Crossett facility near the end of 2019.
WHERE: Crossett, AR
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $600,000
EPA has ordered the company to participate in three supplemental environmental projects designed to benefit the local community. The company must also replace its vacuum pump system to collect waste gases, construct a storage tank to reduce the risk area of a hazardous air pollutant in the event of a release, and purchase a long-ladder fire truck for the City of Crossett Fire Department.
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