EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/31

Posted on 1/31/2017 by Lauren Scott

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 this 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.

Note: Due to a recent tightening of US EPA’s public outreach procedures, announcements and public updates regarding environmental enforcement activity is currently scarce. Lion News will continue to seek out and share the most up-to-date information about US EPA’s enforcement activities in order to help EHS managers make informed compliance decisions.

Who: 60+ facilities
Where: Northwest US states
What: Violations of air, water, chemical, and hazardous waste regulations
How Much: Nearly $2 million combined

Earlier this month US EPA announced 67 environmental enforcement actions taken in the summer of 2016 at facilities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

The biggest fines included: 
  • An aerospace company in Portland, OR fined $68,200 for alleged EPCRA chemical reporting violations,
  • An agro-chemical company will pay $77,134 for violating Clean Air Act operating requirements.
  • Oil researchers in Naples, Idaho will pay $162,800 for alleged illegal discharge without an NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act
  • A national Clean Air Act enforcement case that resulted in a $425 million penalty, which Lion News reported in July. 
  • An asbestos remediation firm paying $523,000 for CERCLA cost recovery. 

Who: A freight logistics firm 
Where: Honolulu, HI 
What: Clean Water Act violations
How Much: $725,000

Molasses spillA Hawaii freight company reached a $725,000 settlement with US EPA to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act stemming from the discharge of 233,000 gallons of sugar cane molasses into the Honolulu harbor from a leaking pipeline in September 2013. 

The same molasses spill resulted in a criminal penalty of $1 million one year ago. 

Are you responsible for Clean Water Act compliance at your site? The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Online Course is designed to help you identify and comply with the EPA’s major water programs—from NPDES permits to oil spills and SPCC plans, underground injection control (UIC) and more.

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:

Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
New! Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Coming Soon! Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 

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: CERCLA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, EPA Enforcement Roundup, fines and penalties, RCRA

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