EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/26
Every day, facilities across the US receive Notices of Violation from US EPA for alleged noncompliance with a wide variety of programs like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, chemical management and reporting regulations (TSCA, EPCRA, CERCLA, etc.), hazardous waste management and disposal standards (RCRA), and much more.
Below are examples of recent EPA enforcement actions that provide insight into how and why EPA issues civil penalties to facilites for environmetnal noncompliance.
WHO: A manufacturing site CEO
To reimburse US EPA for costs of Superfund cleanup, the former CEO of an aviation manufacturer will share liability for $48 million and pay civil penalties totaling $1.5 million. The company built titaniuim sheets for the aeronautics industry. Though the company was working under contract with the Federal government, courts found that the government did not direct the company to improperly dispose of hazardous waste. Therefore, the CEO and his company are liable for cleanup costs.
WHERE: Long Island, NY
WHAT: Superfund cleanup costs and civil penalties
HOW MUCH: Nearly $50,000,000
The CEO was previously sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay $105,816 in restitution for illegal hazardous waste storage in May 2009.
WHO: New York City
US EPA has filed suit against New York City for failure to meet its responsibilities for providing clean drinking water to all residents. Specifically, EPA charges that New York’s environmental protection authority failed to cover an open-air reservoir that delivers up to a billion of gallons of water per day.
WHERE: New York, NY
WHAT: Safe Drinking Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1 million civil penalty
Before water enters the reservoir, it is treated with chlorine and UV light. But because the top of the reservoir is open, the water is subject to re-contamination. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act regulations, the City is required to cover the reservoir to prevent pathogens and animals from re-contaminating it after treatment.
In addition to the $1 million civil penalty, the required improvements to the reservoir are estimated to cost nearly $3 billion.
WHO: A wood products company
For allegedly violating their industrial stormwater permit, a wood products company is Oregon will pay a $79,000 civil penalty for Clean Water Act noncompliance. Violations found during an EPA inspection included:
WHERE: Coos Bay, OR
WHAT: Clean Water Act stormwater violations
HOW MUCH: $79,000
- Failure to collect representative samples
- Failure to maintain control measures
- Failure to complete adequate Tier 1 corrective action response
- Failure to monitor outfall 3A
- Failure to properly monitor oil and grease
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