EPA Enforcement Round-Up Week of 10/21

Posted on 10/25/2016 by Roger Marks

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: Four Texas oil and chemical facilities
Where: Port Arthur, TX
What: Criminal violations of the Clean Air Act
How Much: $3.3 million in criminal fines

At a chemical processing facility in Texas, one worker was killed and two others injured in 2011 while performing "hot work" on piping connected to a tank that was not properly drained, isolated, and decontaminated in accordance with OSHA work safety rules. As a result, the tank exploded when welding work ignited vapors.

The explosion also released hazardous chemicals into the air. According to the Department of Justice, the company falsified Clean Air Act Title V permit documentation and failed to monitor leaks of ground-level ozone.

Who: A railcar refurbishing and cleaning company
Where: Wilmington, DE
What: RCRA hazardous waste violations
How Much" $12,000

US EPA announced on October 18 a fine for a Delaware railcar cleaning and refurbishing company for alleged violations of the RCRA hazardous waste regulations. According to EPA's news release, the company failed to manage hazardous wastes like benzene and vinyl acetate properly by exceeding storage time limits, failed to maintain a contingency plan, and did not keeping proper records.

For more on the importance of RCRA recordkeeping and how to create effective waste dossiers, click here.

Who: The city of Columbia, MO
Where: Columbia, MO
What: Clean Water Act NPDES noncompliance
How Much: $225,000

The city of Columbia, MO has settled allegations it failed to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharges to the waters of the US. In addition to paying a $54,396 civil penalty, the city will complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) at an estimated cost of $475,000 or more.

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The final two sessions of the nationally trusted Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop will held in San Jose on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and Los Angeles on Nov. 3-4 and will help EHS professionals manage compliance with both US EPA and Cal/EPA environmental rules critical for facilities in California.

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.

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