EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 6/5

Posted on 6/7/2018 by Roger Marks

In this week’s EPA Enforcement Roundup, a chemical manufacturer, an oil refinery, and a home improvement TV show will pay to resolve alleged violations of EPA air, water, and/or chemical regulations.

Have you seen other recent EPA enforcement actions that your colleagues can learn from? Post them on Lion’s Facebook page hereBe sure to like our page so you never miss an update about DOT hazmat, hazardous waste, OSHA workplace safety, and EPA compliance.

All accusations of environmental violations herein are “alleged” unless otherwise noted. Lion News does not publish names of individuals or companies impacted by EPA enforcement.

WHO: A chemical manufacturer
WHERE: Dalton, GA
WHAT: Chemical RMP violations
HOW MUCH: $400,000

Danger-Hazardous-Chemicals.jpgA chemical manufacturer in Georgia will pay a six-figure civil penalty and spend about $3 million to make facility upgrades to settle allegations that it violated chemical risk management planning (RMP) requirements in Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.

The facility, which experienced a hydrogen-peroxide-related explosion that blew the manway cover off a tank and showered the surrounding area with hazardous chemicals in 2012, “failed to follow well-established industry practices” and “failed to conduct necessary test and experiments to evaluate and analyze the thermodynamics and kinetics of the reaction associated with the manufacture of (a specific chemical),” according to the DOJ’s Consent Decree.

Earlier this week, EPA announced it will rescind some recently-added RMP accident prevention provisions added to the Clean Air Act in response to the 2013 ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas.  

WHO: A crude oil refinery
WHERE: Martinez, CA
WHAT: RCRA, EPCRA, Air and Water violations
HOW MUCH: $142,664

Oil_Refinery_68568742.jpgTo settle a litany of alleged environmental violations at its Martinez, CA refinery, a global oil and gas company will pay a $142,664 and spend about $38,000 to support emergency planning and preparedness in their community.

The alleged violations, uncovered during inspections in 2014 and 2015, include:
  • Not making proper hazardous waste determinations (RCRA);
  • Not properly managing hazardous waste (RCRA);
  • Failure to notify authorities of an accidental release (EPCRA);
  • Noncompliance with SPCC spill requirements (Clean Water Act); and
  • Noncompliance with chemical Risk Management Planning (RMP) requirements (Clean Air Act).
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WHO:  A home improvement TV show
WHAT: TSCA lead paint safety violations
HOW MUCH: $40,000

Lights, camera, enforcement action? Contractors behind a popular HGTV home improvement TV show will pay $40,000 for alleged lead paint violations. The property flippers allegedly violated the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) while renovating thirty-three Waco, Texas properties when they failed to use so-called “lead-safe work practices” like closing doors and windows, laying down plastic sheeting, and posting clear signage. The company also failed to obtain certification from EPA.

Once they were informed of the alleged violations, the contractors immediately took steps to come into compliance and improve their processes, EPA notes. This included a segment about lead paint safety which aired during the show’s fifth season. EPA spotted the violations in video footage of the company’s renovations. This sends a clear message to all environmental professionals—don’t violate EPA regulations, especially not on national TV.

Want more information? See RRP compliance guidance, including an overview of the TSCA RRP Rule regulations, at EPA’s website.

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Tags: Act, Air, Clean, fines and penalties, hazardous waste, RCRA, TSCA

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