Search

EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 4/3

Posted on 3/31/2023 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 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.


Six companies that handle animal fat and vegetable oil in California face $175,000 in penalties for alleged oil spill prevention and planning violations. 

US EPA announced a settlement with six California businesses that "store, process, refine, transfer, distribute or use animal fats or vegetable oils" recently for alleged noncompliance oil spill prevention requirements under the Clean Water Act. The settlements include civil penalties that range between $1,050 and $175,000.

Each company has since implemented corrections and achieved compliance with Federal SPCC regulations.

vegatable oil is covered under EPA SPCC Plan regulations

California's state-level Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) does not cover the companies' industry sector. But animal fat and vegetable oils are covered under US EPA's Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) requirements. Under Federal SPCC requirements, the definition of oil starts this way: 

"Oil means oil of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to: fats, oils, or greases of animal, fish or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils..."

[40 CFR 112.2]

Businesses in California that produce, process, or handle large volumes of these oils should know their responsibilities under Federal SPCC planning requirements, including the on-site volume thresholds for SPCC planning and maintaining a Facility Response Plan or FRP.

Learn more: Developing an SPCC Plan Online Course ($179)


Clean Air Act violations spotted by helicopter over an oil and gas site in New Mexico resulted in a $440,000 civil penalty and significant reductions in methane and VOC emissions. 

An oil and gas company operating in the Permian Basin has agreed to a settlement including $440,000 in civil penalties.

  • The company’s storage tanks were allegedly leaking hydrocarbon—a CAA violation.
  • EPA spotted these alleged violations during their helicopter fly-over of the area in 2020.

EPA estimates the company’s corrective actions to have reduced 1,715 tons of volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs) and 6,168 tons of methane emissions.

oil and gas flare and the Clean Air Act
 


A national freight company will pay $535,000 in penalties to resolve stormwater noncompliance allegations across the US and Puerto Rico.

EPA alleged that this national freight company failed to comply with these specific requirements of their Clean Water Act permits regarding discharges of industrial stormwater at 9 facilities in the US and Puerto Rico:

  • Spills that had not been cleaned up;
  • Failure to implement required spill prevention measures;
  • Failure to implement measures to minimize contamination of stormwater runoff;
  • Failure to conduct monitoring of stormwater discharges as required; and
  • Failure to provide all required training to company employees.

Learn more: NPDES Stormwater Permit Basics

transportation company stormwater regulations environmental
The company is set to pay penalties of $535,000 to be split between EPA and multiple states to settle the alleged CWA violations. This settlement requires the company to enhance its stormwater compliance program everywhere except at its facilities in Washington state.


Gain the perspective you need to make informed, confident environmental decisions with Complete Environmental Regulations Training.  

Want a clearer idea of how major EPA air, water, and chemical programs all fit together to affect your site's activities? Join in on the next Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar on May 18–19 at Lion.com. 

EH&S professionals who attend can identify the regulations that apply to their facility and locate key requirements to achieve compliance the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to EPCRA, TSCA, Superfund, and more. Prefer to train at your own pace? Try the interactive online course.

EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 4/3

Tags: APSA, California, Clean Air Act, EPA Enforcement Roundup, SPCC

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Attending Lion Technology classes should be mandatory for every facility that ships or stores hazmat.

Genell Drake

Outbound Lead

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.

Jeremy Bost

Environmental Health & Safety Technician

I used the IT support number available and my issue was resolved within a few minutes. I don't see anything that could have made it better.

Danny Province

EHS Professional

The instructor had knowledge of regulations and understanding of real-world situations. The presentation style was engaging and fostered a positive atmosphere for information sharing.

Linda Arlen

Safety & Environmental Compliance Officer

This training broke down the regulations in an easy-to-understand manner and made them less overwhelming. I now feel I have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

Amanda Oswald

Shipping Professional

The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.

Brittany Holm

Lab Supervisor

The workshop covered a lot of information without being too overwhelming. Lion is much better, more comprehensive than other training providers.

George Alva

Manufacturing Manager

Best instructor ever! I was going to take my DOT training w/a different provider, but based on this presentation, I will also be doing my DOT training w/Lion!

Donna Moot

Hazardous Waste Professional

Very well structured, comprehensive, and comparable to live training seminars I've participated in previously. I will recommend the online course to other colleagues with training requirement needs.

Neil Luciano

EHS Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Just starting out with shipping lithium batteries? The four fundamental concepts in this guide are the place to start.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.