EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/1

Posted on 3/1/2021 by Lauren Scott

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 facilities for environmental noncompliance. Names of companies and individuals cited by EPA are withheld to protect their privacy.

WHO: An RV campground contractor
WHERE: Ottumwa, IA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $15,000 plus $230,000 in mitigation bank restoration credits

A contractor and its affiliates allegedly constructed a recreational vehicle campground without the proper authorizations, resulting in violations of the Clean Water Act. Between 2013 and 2016, the contractor allegedly filled in approximately 5 acres of protected wetlands and conducted unauthorized bank stabilization along approximately 2,000 feet of the Des Moines River without first obtaining a required permit.

As part of the settlement, the contractor agreed to pay $230,000 in mitigation bank credits to support restoration of the affected area and remove unauthorized materials in wetlands among other conservation efforts.

WHO: A boat repair shop
WHERE: Newport Beach, CA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $142,224

During inspections in 2018 and 2019, EPA investigators found a boat repair shop allegedly failed to conduct required stormwater sampling and properly clean and dispose of identified debris near catch basins. The facility had also allegedly exceeded limits for both copper and zinc levels in stormwater.

In addition to paying a penalty, the company agreed to maintain preventative measures to reduce the discharge of pollutants through stormwater runoff into Newport Bay, an impaired water body for numerous pollutants.

WHO: An agricultural manufacturer
WHERE: Salinas, CA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $80,000

On July 23, 2019, EPA performed an inspection at an agricultural refrigeration facility and identified alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan regulations. The facility chills and stores produce-related products for the food-service industry, using anhydrous ammonia for refrigeration.

Alleged violations include inaccurate safety information; inadequate and inconsistent labeling and signage for process piping, equipment, and fencing throughout the facility; and inadequate piping and evaporator protections.

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Tags: chemicals, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, environmental, EPA, fines, penalties, Risk Management Plan

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