Every day, facilities across the US 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 (TSCA, EPCRA, CERCLA, etc.), hazardous waste management and disposal standards (RCRA), and much more.
Below are examples of recent EPA enforcement actions that provide insight into how and why EPA issues civil penalties to facilities for environmental noncompliance. Names of companies and individuals cited by EPA are withheld to protect their privacy.
WHO: A chemical wholesaler
WHERE: Arleta, CA
WHAT: TSCA violations
HOW MUCH: $45,000
EPA alleges a company that sells and distributes chemicals in and around the San Fernando Valley failed to timely report chemical substances it imported. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), chemical importers and manufacturers are required to submit Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information to EPA every four years.
As part of a settlement with EPA, the company must pay a $45,000 penalty and maintain compliance with TSCA reporting requirements.
WHO: An agricultural distributor
WHERE: Turlock, CA
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $24,697
A company that sells fertilizers and pesticides has allegedly violated FIFRA mandates to correctly identify pesticides, store them in liquid-tight containers, and adhere to holding capacity requirements. The agricultural supplier has already corrected all compliance issues and will be required to pay a civil penalty, according to EPA.
FIFRA and its supporting regulations help safeguard the public, the environment, and facility workers by ensuring that pesticides are used, stored, and disposed of safely and that pesticide containers are adequately cleaned. Those in the business of selling and distributing pesticides must comply with applicable regulations and pertinent sections of their labels. All who apply pesticides, including consumers, are required to follow the label instructions for proper use, storage, and disposal.
WHO: A cattle ranch
WHERE: Declo, ID
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $19,016
An Idaho cattle rancher has reached a settlement with EPA over alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. EPA alleges the rancher constructed a 114-foot dam in the Raft River without a permit. EPA says introducing heavy equipment in rivers or otherwise altering stream channels with dams, dikes, and berms without necessary planning and permits not only puts local flora and fauna at risk but can pose flooding dangers to downstream property owners when poor engineering fails.
The ranch removed the earthen dam once it was alerted to the need for an Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act (Section 404) permit for such work. As part of the settlement, the ranch agreed to pay the penalty and implement an EPA-approved technical restoration plan to repair the damage caused. The river restoration work is expected to begin in November 2019.
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