EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 5/23

Posted on 5/22/2017 by Lauren Scott

Every day, facilities across the US receive Notices of Violation from Federal and State environmental agencies 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.
In January 2017, EPA raised its fines for noncompliance with major environmental programs. We hope that providing information about EPA enforcement cases will help you identify and fix noncompliance issues that could leave your company facing costly penalties and future liability.
This week, our EPA Enforcement Roundup includes two insurance companies paying for Superfund cleanup, an iron nugget producer paying a six-figure Clean Air Act settlement, and a metal recycler in Puerto Rico that allegedly violated the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and RCRA.

WHO: Two insurance companies
WHERE: Superfund sites in 6 states
WHAT: CERLCA settlements for hazardous substance cleanup
HOW MUCH: $42 million combined

To fund the cleanup Superfund sites across the US (in GA, NJ, OR, PA, WA, and WV), two insurance companies will pay a combined $42,000,000. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), EPA and other Federal agencies can recover costs for hazardous substance cleanup from the owner or former owner of the property.

Because CERCLA settlements can be enormous—as this case demonstrates—owners of properties where hazardous substances are found may obtain some form of general liability insurance coverage to cover all or part of these costs.

Read more about the individual settlements at the links below:

$28.6 million to cleanup Superfund sites in PA, WA, and OR
$14 million to cleanup Superfund sites in GA, WV, and NJ

WHO: An iron nugget producer
WHERE: Hoyt Lakes, MN

WHAT: 15 Clean Air Act claims
HOW MUCH: $150,000

In a proposed Consent Decree issued on May 15, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that an iron nugget producer in Minnesota violated emissions limits for mercury, particulate matter (PM), and other pollutants. The emissions were in excess of what the facility is authorized to emit under its Clean Air Act Title V permit.
In addition to paying a $150,000 civil penalty, the facility will implement monitoring and emissions control methods before restarting the facility where the violations occurred.

WHO: A scrap metal recycler
WHERE: Puerto Rico
WHAT: Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $50,000

A company that operates three scrap metal recycling sites in Caguas, Playa Ponce, and Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, will pay $50,000 for alleged violations of multiple environmental programs, including the Clean Water Act. According to the notice posted to the Federal Register on May 18, the sites failed to prevent liquids from leaking onto the ground and flowing off site in violation of both the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous waste rules.
In addition to the water and hazardous waste violations, the facilities allegedly mismanaged refrigerants found in motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems.

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ENV-300-computer-image.jpgManaging site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field, or need an update on changing EPA rules, the Complete Environmental Regulations Online Course will help you quickly build in-depth expertise.

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

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