EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/6
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 actions highlighted below provide insight into how and why the Agency assesses civil penalties for environmental noncompliance.
All violations mentioned are alleged unless we indicate otherwise. We withhold the names of organizations and individuals subject to enforcement to protect their privacy.
WHO: An oil & natural gas company
WHERE: West Texas Basin
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $610,000
A helicopter equipped with an infrared camera allowed EPA to spot hydrocarbon leaks from tanks, flares, and a combustor at an oil and natural gas operation in the Permian Basin area of Texas.
The company must pay $610,000 in civil penalties for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Texas State planning requirements. The site will also upgrade equipment, review procedures, and conduct tank pressure monitoring and optical gas imaging inspections.
EPA estimates that the facility’s corrective actions will result in greatly reduced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane.
WHO: 3 importers of HFCs
WHERE: National enforcement effort
WHAT: Greenhouse gas reporting violations
HOW MUCH: About $900,000 combined
For allegedly failing to report imported quantities of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), EPA has proposed penalties of $247,601 for a chemical manufacturer; $275,000 for a refrigerant supplier; and $382,473 for an oil and gas company. HFC importers are required to report imported quantities under the Clean Air Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP).
HFCs are commonly used as refrigerants, in building insulation and fire extinguishing systems, and in aerosols.
WHO: A grocery store chain
WHERE: Lenexa, Kansas
WHAT: FIFRA violation
HOW MUCH: $5,374
An Iowa-based grocery store chain was recently cited by EPA for allegedly violating of a pesticide product (disinfectant wipes) in violation of a FIFRA “Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order.” EPA previously penalized the manufacturer of the wipes for failure to register the pesticide-containing disinfectant product under FIFRA.
An EPA inspector found the disinfectant wipes for sale in an Overland Park, Kansas store, which led to a FIFRA “Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order.” The store violated that order, EPA says, by disposing of some of the product without submitting a notification or seeking approval.
The civil penalty amount may seem small compared to the ones above, but the enforcement action shows the wide range of businesses impacted by environmental law and regulations.
2023 Complete Environmental Regulations Training
Join a Lion instructor for the next Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar on March 16–17. Get an overview of US EPA’s major air, water, and chemical programs—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to EPCRA, TSCA, Superfund, and more.
EH&S professionals who attend can identify the regulations that apply to their facility and locate key requirements to achieve compliance.
Prefer to train at your own pace? Try the interactive online course.
Find a Post
My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.
Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation
My experience with Lion classes has always been good. Lion Technology always covers the EPA requirements I must follow.
Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.
Sr. Environmental Engineer
Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.
Supply Chain Director
Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!
Hazardous Waste Professional
The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!
Lion provided an excellent introduction to environmental regulations, making the transition to a new career as an EHS specialist less daunting of a task. Drinking from a fire hose when the flow of water is lessened, is much more enjoyable!
I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!
Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician
I was recently offered an opportunity to take my training through another company, but I politely declined. I only attend Lion Technology workshops.
Material Production/Logistics Manager
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
Knowing why TSDFs reject loads of hazardous waste—and the exact steps to follow if it happens—can reduce your anxiety and uncertainty about rejection.