EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 5/30
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 a chemical storage and logistics company paying millions for alleged Clean Air Act violations and grease recycler facing jail time for possible criminal violations of the Clean Water Act.
WHO: A chemical storage and logistics company
A global chemical storage and logistics company with a facility near Houston, TX will pay a seven-figure civil penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. According to the US EPA, DOJ, and the state of Texas, the facility emitted excess acetone, benzene, styrene, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to its failure to properly manage equipment. Also, the company did not use required “good air pollution practices” when operating flares and chemical storage tanks.
WHERE: Deer Park, TX
WHAT: Clean Air Act emissions violations
HOW MUCH: $2.5 million
In addition to the $2,500,000 civil penalty, to be split between US EPA and Texas, the company will install pollution control equipment and monitor air pollution from chemical storage tanks using infrared cameras.
Under the Clean Air Act, facilities in a so called “non-attainment” areas like Harris County, Texas must comply with more stringent Clean Air Act requirements. Questions about Clean Air Act emissions standards? See the FAQ on this page.
WHO: A grease recycler
A Missouri grease recycler has been indicted by a Federal grand jury for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. According to Department of Justice press release, the owner of the company allegedly dumped grease collected from restaurants into Missouri’s Big Piney River, a tributary of the Gasconade River.
WHERE: Cabool, MO
WHAT: Alleged criminal Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: Up to 3 years in jail
Under the criminal provisions of the Clean Water Act, a person who negligently or knowingly discharges oil to a water of the United States faces a maximum of 3 years in jail and $50,000 per day for a first violation.
WHO: A major railway company and many others
US EPA announced on May 22 that a major railway company will start cleanup operations at three of the more than 500 abandoned uranium mines found across the 27,000 square miles of Navajo land in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.
WHERE: Navajo Nation
WHAT: Superfund cleanup of abandoned mines
HOW MUCH: $1.7 billion
EPA has now secured $1.7 billion in commitments to fund cleanup work at these sites—enough, the Agency says, to start cleanup of about 40% of the abandoned uranium mines in the Navajo Nation. The $1.7 billion includes a $600 million settlement with two companies reached in January this year. As part of that settlement, the two companies involved will begin cleanup work at 94 abandoned mines.
Managing 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.
20+ Hours of EHS Manager Training - Available Anytime, Anywhere
Or, check out the latest individual EPA compliance training options here:
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
New! Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Just Launched! Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online
The 2017 nationwide schedule for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is now available. Collaborate with other managers to identify the requirements that apply to your facility, ask the right questions, and make the right decisions about EPA compliance.
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