EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 10/18
The EPA enforcement actions highlighted below provide insight into how and why the Agency assesses civil penalties for environmental noncompliance. All violations mentioned are alleged unless we indicate others.
We withhold the names of organizations and individuals subject to enforcement to protect their privacy.
WHO: A chemical manufacturer and a technical consulting firm
EPA reached a settlement to resolve alleged violations of Federal environmental regulations at a chemical manufacturing facility. The alleged violations include failure to make hazardous waste determinations and meet land disposal restrictions, discharges of process wastewater in violation of the facility’s permits, and failure to comply with national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from benzene waste operations.
WHERE: Orange, TX
WHAT: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $3.1 million
Under the settlement, an independent third party will conduct multimedia compliance audits to review the facility’s compliance with environmental regulations. Additionally, the defendants will undertake measures to monitor and control benzene emissions and pH levels in wastewaters.
WHO: Three chemical companies
The US District Court for the Central District of California recently approved three settlements to resolve alleged groundwater cleanup violations at two Superfund sites. One location was once the largest manufacturing plant for the pesticide DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) in the US while the other used to be a rubber manufacturing facility.
WHERE: Los Angeles County, CA
WHAT: CERCLA settlement
HOW MUCH: $77.6 million
Settlement requirements include pumping and treating the groundwater to Federal and State cleanup standards and then reinjecting the treated water back into the ground, treatment of the soil to address historical releases, and an investigation of potential contaminant releases in historic stormwater pathways.
WHO: A former film processing business
The current owners of a former film processing site filed a lawsuit against the company that previously operated on the site over contamination from the facility’s alleged mishandling of chlorinated solvents during the printing and cleaning process. Many of these chemicals have already broken down into trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride and spilled into soil and groundwater under the property.
WHERE: Los Angeles, CA
WHAT: CERCLA liability suit
HOW MUCH: At least $20 million
According to the lawsuit, the new owners have already paid $1.4 million out of the estimated $10 million it will take to remediate the facility. The new owners are asking at least $20 million in damages. This lawsuit is currently under review.
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