EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 11/28
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.
For 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.
WHO: Pest exterminators
WHERE: US Virgin Islands
WHAT: Illegal use of FIFRA restricted-use pesticides
HOW MUCH: $10 million in criminal fines
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.
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.
WHO: A hazardous waste treatment and storage facility
WHERE: Tacoma, WA
WHAT: RCRA hazardous waste violations
HOW MUCH: $125,800
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
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.
WHERE: Unalaska, AK
WHAT: EPCRA and CERCLA release reporting violations
HOW MUCH: $36,000 in fines and restitution
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.
20+ Hours of EHS Manager Training - Available Anytime, AnywhereManaging 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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