EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 5/9

Posted on 5/9/2017 by Roger Marks

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 roundup features two environmental enforcement actions completed by environmental authorities in California, including the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Who: A biomass electricity provider
Where: Woodland, CA

What: Falsified hazardous waste records and illegal disposal
How much: $4.4 million

A wood-burning electricity producer in California will pay $4.22 million in fines and reimbursement to settle violations of Federal and California State hazardous waste disposal requirements. This enforcement action is the result of an investigation carried out by various California Districts Attorney offices and State environmental authorities, including the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
According to the Yolo County, CA District Attorney’s office, the company falsified test records to show that the ash generated by its activities—much of which contains pollutants like high-pH dioxins, arsenic, lead, and copper—was not regulated as hazardous waste. Besides failing to properly identify its hazardous waste, the business also caused this waste to be disposed of at non-authorized facilities, including farm land in Yolo County. 

Trusted Title 22 Training Returns in July

California’s hazardous waste rules are more stringent and complex than the Federal RCRA regulations, and knowing how State rules impact your site is crucial to stay in compliance. Meet DTSC’s annual training mandate and get up to date on the latest rules for hazardous waste generators in the Golden State when the California Hazardous Waste Management Workshop returns to Anaheim, Palmdale, Modesto, and San Jose in July. 
See the full 2017 schedule here.

Who: A former musical instrument manufacturer and others
Where: Fullerton, CA
What: Cleanup of contaminated groundwater
How Much: $2 million

To reimburse California’s DTSC for the cost incurred investigating and cleaning up contaminated groundwater at the former facility of a music instrument manufacturer, three companies—the current owner, the musical instrument manufacturer, and another former owner—will pay a combined $2 million. 
Since 2010, DTSC has been working to remediate “elevated levels of trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), and 1,1-dichloroethene (1,1-DCE) at the site.” Read more about this DTSC enforcement case here.

Who: An electricity service provider
Where: Washington, D.C.

What: RCRA hazardous waste violations
How much: $54,000

To settle alleged violations of the Federal RCRA hazardous waste requirements at its Washington, D.C. area maintenance plant, a power provider will pay $54,000 to US EPA. Violations included container management mistakes, failure to conduct weekly inspections of storage areas, lacking a hazardous waste contingency plan required under RCRA, and more.
The company has, according to EPA’s press release, corrected these violations and achieved compliance with the RCRA hazardous waste rules as of this time.

Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training

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Or, check out the latest individual EPA compliance training options here:
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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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