EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 11/28

Posted on 11/27/2017 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.

In this week’s EPA Enforcement Roundup, an exterminator will pay $10 million in criminal fines for fumigating residential properties with products containing methyl bromide. Plus, a hazardous waste facility pays for RCRA permit violations and a seafood storage company is fined for failure to properly report a hazardous substance release under EPCRA and CERCLA.

WHO: Pest exterminators
WHERE: US Virgin Islands
WHAT: Illegal use of FIFRA restricted-use pesticides
HOW MUCH: $10 million in criminal fines

Cockroach-Blog.jpgFor knowingly fumigating residential properties with a product containing methyl bromide, causing “horrendous,” “life-altering” injuries and violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in the process, a pest exterminating company will pay $10 million in criminal fines and cleanup funding.

Indoor use of methyl bromide products has been banned by EPA since 1984. Exposure to these restricted-use pesticides, which are acutely toxic, can damage the central nervous and respiratory systems. Restricted-use pesticides may only be applied in specific cases by certified applicators.

In January 2017, EPA finalized regulations to set a minimum age for applying restricted-use pesticides and to add other requirements.

WHO: A hazardous waste treatment and storage facility
WHERE: Tacoma, WA
WHAT: RCRA hazardous waste violations
HOW MUCH: $125,800

According to EPA Region 10 officials, a hazardous waste storage and treatment facility will pay a six-figure civil penalty for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste compliance standards.

EPA claims the company failed to maintain adequate insurance coverage required under the facility’s RCRA permit. In addition, EPA notes that an alleged history of spills and incidents at the Tacoma facility suggest “the facility may have a higher probability of future accidents.” 

WHO: A seafood cold storage facility
WHERE: Unalaska, AK
WHAT: EPCRA and CERCLA release reporting violations
HOW MUCH: $36,000 in fines and restitution

For allegedly failing to make a timely report a release of 125 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at its Unalaska seafood storage facility, a Seattle company must upgrade its leak detectors and monitoring technology, complete supplemental environmental projects (SEPs), and pay a $10,000 civil penalty.

On top of the fines and restitution, the company will purchase hazmat emergency response equipment for a local Department of Safety and train local responders to respond to emergency hazardous substance releases.

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computer-(1).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.

Or, check out the latest individual EPA compliance training options here:
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
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.

Tags: EPA, EPA Enforcement Roundup, EPCRA, FIFRA, fines and penalties, RCRA

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