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 municipal utility company
WHERE: Petersburg, IN
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1.5 million plus $5.3 million in supplemental environmental projects
An Indiana-based power company has reached an agreement with US EPA and State environmental officials to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. EPA alleges one of the company’s generating stations was emitting nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM) and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4) above the allowable level.
The energy provider has agreed to install a pollution control device known as a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction System (SNCR) on one of the plant’s coal-fired units and upgrade its sulfuric acid mitigation system. The company will also undertake two environmental projects
: one to restore and preserve some ecologically significant parcels of land near the plant, and another to mitigate the harm to the environment caused by the plant’s excess emissions over the years.
WHO: A waste disposal facility
WHERE: Kimball, NE
WHAT: RCRA, Clean Air Act, and EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $790,000
EPA recently announced a settlement with a waste disposal company to address alleged environmental violations at the company’s commercial hazardous waste incinerator. Alleged violations include failure to manage and contain hazardous wastes; failure to comply with air emission limits; failure to comply with chemical accident prevention safety requirements
; and failure to timely report use of certain toxic chemicals.
The company has agreed to upgrade plans to classify, manage and contain the wastes incinerated at the facility as well as their fire prevention and response program and perform an environmental audit at the facility to identify and address any continuing noncompliance.
WHO: A construction materials manufacturer
WHERE: Washington, D.C.
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $250,000
During an investigation at a ready-mixed concrete supplier
, EPA found the supplier alleged operated a stationary engine in violation of Clean Air Act management practices and operated its plant from at least September 2014 to June 2018 without a required Clean Air Act operating permit.
The concrete manufacturer has agreed to pay a $250,000 settlement to resolve the alleged violations. Since the violations were identified, the company has moved to a different location in the DC metropolitan area.
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