EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 6/12
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 major brewing company will pay $537,000 for alleged Clean Air and EPCRA violations at eleven breweries across the US.
EPA announced this settlement to resolve alleged environmental violations related to anhydrous ammonia, a common refrigerant, at facilities in eleven US states.
Anhydrous ammonia is considered an extremely hazardous substance by EPA, subject to the requirements for Risk Management Planning (RMP) under the Clean Air Act. Covered facilities must revise and re-submit a plan to EPA every five years.
The company is required to hire independent experts to review each of the company’s eleven breweries that use anhydrous ammonia in accordance with relevant refrigeration industry standards and implement corrective actions based on the recommendations of those reviews.
A Kansas City environmental company will pay $75,095 in civil penalties to resolve alleged hazardous waste management (RCRA) violations.
A hazardous and solid waste storage facility in Missouri settled with EPA to resolve alleged violations of its RCRA hazardous waste permit.
RCRA permit violations alleged include:
- Failure to minimize hazardous waste releases.
- Failure to inspect hazardous waste tanks daily.
- Failure to equip all open-ended valves or lines with closures.
- Failure to obtain a hazardous waste permit for wastes not covered by the facility’s existing permit.
The company immediately took steps to return to compliance upon notification, per EPA.
A chemical company in St. Louis will pay a $49,953 penalty to resolve alleged Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting violations.
EPA reviewed chemical inventory records of a facility in St. Louis, finding that the company used quantities of several hazardous chemicals that require reporting under the EPCRA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program, including methanol, xylene, and toluene, but failed to submit the TRI.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires covered facilities to report to EPA on the release, storage, manufacture, processing, or other use of toxic chemicals.
TRI reporting is due by July 1 each year.
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