EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 11/7

Posted on 11/7/2017 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 addition to a $300 million settlement with a major oil and gas company for alleged Clean Air Act violations, in this week’s EPA enforcement roundup, EPA fined two companies for Clean Air Act violations and a university for improper disposal of PCB-contaminated waste.

WHO: A natural gas and oil company
WHERE: Denver, Colorado
WHAT: Clean Air Act emissions violations
HOW MUCH:  $2.5 million

Gas-Tank.jpgIn addition to paying a $2.5 million civil penalty for Clean Air Act violations, a Denver oil and gas exploration and production firm will spend nearly $20 million on system upgrades, improved maintenance and monitoring, and inspections.

The settlement resolves claims that the company “failed to adequately design, size, operate, and maintain vapor control systems” on storage tanks which emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
See the Consent Decree here.

WHO: A university
WHERE: Storrs, CT
WHAT: Improper PCB disposal
HOW MUCH: $28,125

For allegedly disposing of waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) a Connecticut University will pay a civil penalty and take steps to ensure waste is disposed of properly.  

The PCBs in question came from window caulk in the soil following a remediation project. This “PCB remediation wastes” must be disposed of at an approved facility. In this case, the waste was not identified properly on the Manifest, and therefore was shipped to a disposal facility not authorized to accept the PCB waste.

WHO: A sand and gravel company
WHERE: Blackstone and Northborough, Massachusetts
WHAT: Clean Air Act emissions violations
HOW MUCH: $120,000

For alleged violations of Clean Air Act New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), a Massachusetts sand and gravel company will pay a six-figure civil penalty and replace equipment (combustion engines) that emit hazardous air pollutants.

Replacing the engines, according to EPA’s announcement, will help the facility reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants like formaldehyde.

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computer.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.

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Tags: EPA, EPA Enforcement Roundup, fines and penalties

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