EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/20

Posted on 3/19/2018 by Roger Marks

This week, the owner of a massive Utah mining complex and two natural gas processing companies will pay restitution to US EPA. These are only a few of the environmental enforcement cases we read about this week.

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In last week’s Roundup, we brought you two major enforcement cases in California, including a $27 million penalty for a major home improvement chain.

WHO: A mining company
WHERE: Kellogg, ID
WHAT: Recuperation of CERCLA cleanup costs
HOW MUCH: $20 million + $1 million per year

EPA-logo.pngTo recoup ongoing remediation costs incurred at the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelting Complex in the Coeur D’Alene Basin of Idaho, US EPA this month announced a settlement with the site’s current lessee and possible future owner. In addition to paying $20 million in outstanding costs, the new lessee has agreed to pay $1 million per year for water treatment costs incurred by EPA. The new lessee will also take over cleanup work previously ordered by EPA.

The Bunker Hill Mine site was added to EPA’s National Priorities list in the early 1980s, due in part to high levels of lead found in local children’s blood. The site was the world’s largest mining complex when it was built in the late 19th century. EPA has previously collected more than $600 million from other parties to fund the long-term cleanup of the site.

WHO: 2 natural gas processing facilities
WHERE: Altamont, UT and Sinclair, WY
WHAT: Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan (RMP) violations
HOW MUCH: $179,099

In addition to paying a six-figure civil penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan requirements for hazardous chemicals, two natural gas processing facilities will spend nearly $400,000 to install a system flare to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Under the Clean Air Act §112(r), facilities that use or process large volumes of certain chemicals must maintain a risk management plan that includes a description of covered processes and substances, a five-year accident history, a hazard assessment, and other elements.

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Tags: CERCLA, Clean Air Act, EPA, EPA Enforcement Roundup, fines and penalties

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