EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/3

Posted on 1/3/2017 by Lauren Scott

Every day, facilities all across America 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, hazardous waste management and disposal standards, and much more.

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: 22 companies
Where:  Rhode Island
What: CERLCA/Superfund cleanup costs
How much: $40,000,000

To fund the cleanup of a former landfill that operated between 1954 and the 1980s in Rhode Island, 22 companies out of the 100 that EPA named as potentially responsible parties will pay more than $40 million.

The site was added to EPA’s National Priorities List since 1983. To see the full list of parties who will contribute to the cleanup costs, read EPA’s press release here.

US Environmental Protection Agency of EPA logoWho: An environmental cleanup firm
Where: Oahu and Kapolei, Hawaii
What: Violating a hazardous substance cleanup order
How Much: $25,000

According to US EPA, a Pennsylvania environmental cleanup company had agreed to cleanup the former site of a wood treatment facility in Hawaii. As part of their cleanup responsibilities, the company consolidated contaminated soil under a protective asphalt cap and is required to maintain the integrity of that cap. 

Last year, the current owner of the property removed part of the cap without US EPA’s approval, leading to the $25,000 fine.

Who: A gold miner
Where: Idaho
What: Clean Water Act violations
How Much: $3,600

An individual mining for gold by suction-dredging part of Idaho’s Clearwater River has been fined by US EPA for violations of the Clean Water Act. Under the Clean Water Act, dredging—which means removing mud or sediments from a river or seabed—requires a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  See EPA’s press release here.

While a general NPDES permit is available for small suction-dredge operations in Idaho, mining in this part of the Clearwater River is prohibited.

More EPA Enforcement Actions

Want more EPA enforcement news? Subscribe to Lion News to get the EPA Enforcement Roundup delivered to your inbox once a week.  In addition to today’s featured enforcement actions, a major tech company was fined $450,000 for hazardous waste violations in California late last year. Read about that RCRA enforcement case here.

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Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field, or need an update on changing EPA rules, the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop will help you identify the requirements that apply to your facility and make decisions that put your team in a position to succeed.

Planning for next year? The 2017 schedule is available now and includes a workshop in our new Environmental Training Center in Sparta, NJ! Register to receive a full year of Lion Membership for complete on-the-job compliance support. 

Tags: CERCLA, Clean Air Act, EPA, fines and penalties, Superfund

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