EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 11/27

Posted on 11/27/2023 by Nick Waldron

US businesses are subject to complex, overlapping environmental regulations related to air emissions, discharges to water, hazardous waste management and disposal, oil spills, chemical management, and more. Failure to comply with all applicable US EPA requirements can result in future liability and civil penalties as high as $100,000+ per day, per violation.

The EPA Enforcement Roundup highlights enforcement actions that offer insight into how and why US EPA and state partners assess penalties for noncompliance for environmental regulations.

All violations or claims discussed below are alleged only unless we say otherwise, and we withhold the names of organizations and individuals to protect their privacy.

Your EPA Enforcement Roundup for this week:

A baking yeast manufacturer settled with EPA over alleged hazardous waste management violations.

US EPA states that it found the Cedar Rapids, Iowa manufacturer failed to comply with Federal RCRA regulations. The Agency alleges that the company stored hazardous waste for longer than 90 days without a permit, failed to properly label containers, failed to inspect storage areas, and  failed to keep at least one hazardous waste container closed.

The company is set to pay $37,705 in penalties and will purchase emergency response equipment for the local fire department and hazmat team as part of the settlement.

A specialty alcohols and ingredients producer will pay a combined $501,890 to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations.

The company’s production facilities were found by EPA investigators to have violated National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for miscellaneous organic chemical manufacturing.

The first facility allegedly failed to comply with NESHAPs standards at three fiber dryers. In addition, regulators allege, the facility failed to maintain compliant operating parameters at two carbon dioxide scrubbers and failed to control emissions generated at fermentation tanks.

The second facility allegedly failed to demonstrate continuous compliance with temperature setpoints at two of its dryers, failed to maintain records of corrective actions, and failed to report deviations of temperature setpoints. The first facility will pay a penalty of $308,374 and the second facility will pay a penalty of $193,516.

An automotive tool, equipment, and specialty product manufacturer settled with EPA over alleged Clean Water violations.

According to EPA, two of the company’s facilities—that are located near or on a river—had over a million gallons of oil storage capacity and failed to develop a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan as required under the Clean Water Act.

The SPCC Rule exists to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines, and to contain discharges of oil, and requires regulated facilities to develop and implement SPCC Plans that include a response plan in the event of an oil release.

The manufacturer will pay $258,978 to resolve the allegations.

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Tags: Clean Air Act, EPA Enforcement Roundup, hazardous waste, NESHAPS, RCRA

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