EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/31

Posted on 1/31/2022 by Lauren Scott

Industrial facilities in the United States are subject to complex, overlapping environmental regulations concerning air emissions, discharges to water, hazardous waste management and disposal, oil spills, chemical management, and more. Failure to comply with all applicable US EPA requirements can result in future liability and civil penalties as high as $100,000+ per day, per violation (and growing every year).

The EPA enforcement actions highlighted below provide insight into how and why the Agency assesses civil penalties for environmental noncompliance. All violations mentioned are alleged unless we indicate otherwise.

We withhold the names of organizations and individuals subject to enforcement to protect their privacy.

WHO: A gas station chain
WHERE: 15 locations in PR
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $125,000 plus $600,000 in upgrades

In its complaint, EPA alleged that a gas station chain violated the Federal hazardous waste regulations and the Puerto Rico Underground Storage Tank Control requirements by failing to use proper equipment for underground storage tanks, conduct required operation and maintenance, and report and investigate suspected releases. These alleged violations span throughout 15 of the company’s locations.

As part of the settlement, the company agreed leak detection systems in at least 43 gas stations; implement or upgrade automatic tank gauging release detection; and install a centralized monitoring system, which will provide instant notifications in the event of a potential or actual leak. This new monitoring system is valued at approximately $600,000.

WHO: A chemical manufacturer
WHERE: Great Bend, KS
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $144,924

A facility that manufactures cleaning products will pay a six-figure civil penalty to resolve alleged Risk Management Plan violations related to its handling and storage of isobutane and propane. Following a 2019 inspection, EPA determined that the company failed to comply with several key release prevention requirements, including failure to develop adequate standard operating procedures, failure to establish procedures for ensuring appropriate inspections of piping, and failure to conduct certain safety reviews.

In response to EPA’s findings, the company took the necessary steps to return the facility to compliance. The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule regulations require facilities that use regulated toxic and/or flammable substances to develop a Risk Management Plan, which identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident; identifies steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident; and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur.

WHO: A municipal drinking and wastewater system
WHERE: Jersey City, NJ
WHAT: Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1.1 billion in system repairs

A New Jersey water provider announced a new agreement with US EPA and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to make significant improvements to a city drinking water and sewage system as part of a consent decree that began in 2011. These improvements are expected to drastically reduce the amount of pollution being discharged into the Hackensack River, Hudson River, and Newark Bay, benefiting communities of color facing environmental justice challenges.

According to the original consent decree, the municipal water system allegedly failed to properly operate and maintain its combined sewer system, which led to repeated releases of untreated sewage into the Hackensack River, Hudson River, Newark Bay, and Penhorn Creek. The system will now replace over 12,000 lead drinking water pipes, expand system capacity, and complete a comprehensive assessment of the condition of its sewer system.

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, CERCLA, 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:
Complete Environmental Regulations
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 

Tags: chemical management, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, fines, hazardous waste, penalties, RCRA, Risk Management Plan, roundup, Safe Drinking Water Act

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Convenient; I can train when I want, where I want.

Barry Cook

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Course instructor was better prepared and presented better than other trainers. Course manual and references were easier to use as well.

Marty Brownfield

Hazardous Waste Professional

I will never go anywhere, but to Lion Technology.

Dawn Swofford

EHS Technician

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

I think LION does an excellent job of any training they do. Materials provided are very useful to my day-to-day work activities.

Pamela Embody

EHS Specialist

I like Lion's workshops the best because they really dig into the information you need to have when you leave the workshop.

Tom Bush, Jr.

EHS Manager

Attending Lion Technology classes should be mandatory for every facility that ships or stores hazmat.

Genell Drake

Outbound Lead

Much better than my previous class with another company. The Lion instructor made sense, kept me awake and made me laugh!

Marti Severs

Enterprise Safety Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Spot and correct 4 of the most common universal waste errors before they result in a notice of violation during a Federal or state inspection.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.