EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/8

Posted on 1/8/2024 by Nick Waldron

US businesses are subject to complex, overlapping environmental regulations related to 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.

The EPA Enforcement Roundup highlights enforcement actions that offer insight into how and why US EPA and state partners assess penalties for noncompliance for environmental regulations.

All violations or claims discussed below are alleged only unless we say otherwise, and we withhold the names of organizations and individuals to protect their privacy.

Your EPA Enforcement Roundup for this week:

A Kansas boat manufacturing facility will pay $133,780 to resolve alleged hazardous waste management violations.

EPA says that they discovered violations during an inspection in February 2022.

The Agency claims that the facility, a large quantity generator of hazardous waste, failed to maintain and operate the facility to minimize the possibility of a fire, explosion, or unplanned release, failed to monitor pumps and valves to detect potential leaks of hazardous waste, failed to maintain required records, and stored potentially incompatible hazardous wastes.

Two Rhode Island companies settle with EPA to resolve Clean Air Act violations related to refrigeration.

Both companies operate facilities that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. Anhydrous ammonia is a popular refrigerant due to its efficiency, and a common target for EPA enforcement due to toxicity and air pollution potential.

A beverage manufacturing and storage company and will pay a $96,852 penalty and conduct audits at 14 facilities to resolve allegations of Federal Clean Air rules. The second business, a fish processing and cold storage company, agreed to a pay penalty of $122,622 to resolve similar allegations. It will also update its process hazard review by February 1, 2024.

Both facilities use anhydrous ammonia (in tons) in their refrigeration systems, and both are within a few miles (or closer) of homes, businesses, and even an airport.

A Nebraskan beef processor agreed to $275,000 in penalties to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations.

The Agency alleges that the processor exceeded permit limits for biochemical oxygen demand, chloride, ammonia, nitrogen, and total suspended solids at least 50 times cumulatively between 2018 and 2023.
In addition to paying the monetary penalty, the company agreed to:

  1. Perform an analysis to determine the root causes of the facility’s Clean Water Act violations.
  2. Submit a compliance work plan to eliminate future violations.

According to EPA, the processor paid a $1,200,000 penalty for similar violations in 2011.

Complete Environmental Regulations Training

Want a clearer idea of how major EPA air, water, and chemical programs all fit together to affect your site's activities? Join in on the next Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar on February 1–2 at

EH&S professionals who attend can identify the regulations that apply to their facility and locate key requirements to achieve compliance with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to EPCRA, TSCA, Superfund, and more. Prefer to train at your own pace? Try the interactive online course.

Tags: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, EPA Enforcement Roundup, hazardous waste management, RCRA

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