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.
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: An oil refinery
WHERE: Torrance, CA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $125,000 plus $219,000 in site improvements
EPA alleges that a California oil refinery violated the Clean Air Act’s Chemical Accident Prevention Program for failure to properly conduct a hazard assessment, properly document repairs on equipment, and follow emergency operating procedures.
The refinery has since corrected the violations, updated its Risk Management Plan,
and agreed to install a new automated water system to mitigate potential releases.
WHO: A real estate development company
WHERE: Wingdale, NY
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $575,000
A real estate development company affiliated with a New York University has agreed to pay a six-figure penalty to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations while renovating 19 buildings in 2013. EPA alleges that the company rushed to prepare the century-old buildings for fundraising events, violating asbestos removal regulations
Under the consent decree, the real estate company agrees to inspect unoccupied buildings twice a month and occupied buildings once a month and to file compliance reports as required by Federal regulations.
WHO: A local port authority
WHERE: Olympia, WA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1,358,000
A Washington State port authority agreed to take corrective steps following alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. The port authority has agreed to install a 3-inch curb along the bull rial to prevent stormwater drainageoff the edge of the marine terminal and agreed to limitations on log loading.
The port authority will also pay $625,000 of the settlement to The Rose Foundation of Oakland, California to improve water quality of Budd Inlet or South Puget Sound.
Waste Action Project, the citizen action group
that brought forth the lawsuit, alleges the port authority discharged polluted stormwater into Budd Inlet and violated its stormwater pollution plan and recordkeeping requirements.
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