EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 6/19

Posted on 6/19/2023 by Lion Technology Inc.

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:

Two companies will pay $230,000 and provide hazardous waste training for employees after alleged RCRA violations in California. 

An environmental services provide allegedly delivered 8,000 gallons of wastewater from an Oakland facility's fuel tank to be disposed of as non-hazardous waste, leading authorities to cite both companies for RCRA violations. Sampling by the disposal facility revealed the waste to be hazardous, containing “elevated concentrations of benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylenes.”

The companies are required to provide hazardous waste training for personnel and pay a total of $230,000 in penalties. Without adequate RCRA training, personnel are unprepared to properly handle hazardous waste or react in an emergency situation, EPA stresses.

US EPA and California DTSC require annual training for "hazardous waste personnel."   

An Alaskan metals mining company to pay $143,000 for alleged hazardous waste management violations.

A lead, zinc, gold, and silver mining operation faces $143,000 in penalties for multiple alleged hazardous waste management and disposal violations at a mine on an island near Juneau, Alaska.

Specific allegations from EPA include improper disposal of hazardous waste containing lead and failure to make hazardous waste determinations. The site also failed to conduct weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage areas as required under RCRA, and did not properly label a container of used oil. Under the terms of the agreement with EPA, the site will also continue to clean up lead-contaminated soil.

A chemical wholesaler to pay $11,050 for alleged hazardous waste management violations in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) alleges that the wholesaler failed to make hazardous waste determinations on seven 55-gallon containers, failed have documentation available to prove that the material is either not or waste or is exempt from regulation, and transported hazardous waste to their treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF) in Milwaukee without preparing a hazardous waste manifest.

The company must follow these orders once this order is approved by IDEM:

  • Conduct waste determinations at the point of generation.
  • Ensure any regulated hazardous waste offered for transportation is accompanied by a uniform hazardous waste manifest designated to a permitted TSDF.
  • Demonstrate that there is a known market or disposition for quarantined materials and maintain appropriate documentation to demonstrate that quarantined materials are not waste or are exempt from regulation.
  • Determine their generator category monthly.

Cradle-to-Grave RCRA Training

Attend Lion's two-day RCRA Hazardous Waste Management webinar June 26—27 to develop the expertise you need to identify, store, and manage hazardous waste from cradle-to-grave.

Lion instructors present with new and updated content, insights, and industry-best reference materials to help generators large and small navigate and comply with the latest RCRA regulations.

Remember: RCRA regulations require re-training for hazardous waste personnel annually, and within 6 months for new hires.

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