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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 11/15

Posted on 11/15/2016 by Lauren Scott

Every day, facilities all across America receive Notices of Violation from US EPA for alleged noncompliance with a wide variety of programs like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, chemical management and reporting regulations, hazardous waste management and disposal standards, and much more.

EPA raised its maximum civil penalties in 2016, making it more critical than ever that EHS professionals understand how these complex regulatory programs affect their facilities. We hope providing information about EPA enforcement cases will help you identify and fix noncompliance issues that could leave your company facing down costly penalties and future liability.

WHO: A railcar cleaning company
WHERE: Omaha, NE
WHAT: An Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Administrative Order for continued failure to comply with RCRA hazardous waste rules.
HOW MUCH: Up to $14,023 per violation if the company fails to comply

Under a newly issued Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Administrative Order, a rail car cleaning company in Nebraska must take immediate steps to protect human health and the environment after EPA site inspections found the company failed to identify, handle, and dispose of its hazardous waste in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  

US Environmental Protection Agency logoThe company must now manage its hazardous wastes—about 10.000 lbs. per month combined of solid crude oil, liquid crude oil, ethanol and methanol according to EPA—in compliance with RCRA. In addition, the company must provide reports to EPA of the hazardous waste determinations and disposal practices.

WHO: A major petroleum refiner
WHERE: Lemont, Illinois
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1,955,000 + $42 million in injunctive relief

For violations of the Clean Air Act, one of the nation’s largest providers of petrochemicals will pay nearly $2 million in civil penalties and spend an additional $42 million in injunctive relief. In addition to violating the Clean Air Act, the operations at the Lemont, Illinois refinery did not comply with the company’s global refinery consent decree reached in 2004.

Among the violations listed by EPA are noncompliance with New Source Review permitting requirements, failure to adequately eliminate or control emissions, failure to continuously monitor emissions, and violating the Standards of Performance for Equipment Leaks of VOC.

WHO: The city of Industry, California
WHERE: Industry, CA
WHAT: Illegal dredging under the Clean Water Act
HOW MUCH: $5 million

To settle allegations it violated the Clean Water Act by altering a streambed that runs through a “former hippie village” in California, the city of Industry will pay a $5 million in restitution. Half of that amount will go toward the design and construction of a storm drain collection and water treatment system.
According to reports, the dredging activity—which deposited 880,000 gallons of material into the San Gabriel River—was performed by employees of a company owned by the city’s former mayor. 

The San Gabriel valley Tribune has more on this EPA enforcement action here.

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Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA, 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 Workshop will help you identify the requirements that apply to your facility and make decisions that put your team in a position to succeed.

Planning for next year? The 2017 schedule is available now and includes a workshop in our new Environmental Training Center in Sparta, NJ! Register to receive a full year of Lion Membership for complete on-the-job compliance support. 

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

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