EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 9/13

Posted on 9/13/2021 by Roseanne Bottone and Lauren Scott

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: An icecream processing facility
WHERE: Bakersfield, CA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $301,066

An ice cream facility located in Bakersfield, California allegedly failed to comply with chemical release prevention requirements related to its use of anhydrous ammonia. According to EPA, the company failed to process safety and hazard evaluation requirements, correct deficient equipment, manage change requirements, comply with compliance audit requirements, and submit accurate hazardous chemical reports for anhydrous ammonia.

The facility’s response was to improve process safety by adding machinery room signage, panic hardware, and an eyewash and safety shower; moving machinery room ammonia sensors; adding labeling; improving machinery room emergency ventilation; correcting deficient equipment; and addressing outstanding recommendations from hazard evaluations and compliance audits.

WHO: Landfill gas-to-energy company
WHERE: Arbor Hills, MI
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $750,000

In a complaint filed simultaneously with the consent decree, the United States and the state of Michigan alleged the company violated several CAA and Michigan State laws by exceeding sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions limits. This pollutant is detrimental to human health and the environment when emitted into the air. Exposure can cause premature death, heart attacks, respiratory problems, and adverse environmental effects.

To bring the facility into compliance and mitigate past excess emissions, the settlement requires the company to do either of the following by March 2023: Construct a renewable natural gas facility to convert landfill gas (LFG) into pipeline quality natural gas (which would eliminate SO2 emissions), or install a sulfur treatment system that achieves a 64% reduction in SO2 emissions.

WHO: A steel manufacturer
WHERE: Portage, ID
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $601,242

The EPA and state of Indiana approved a revised consent decree requiring the company to initiate substantial measures to improve wastewater treatment and monitoring systems at its manufacturing and finishing facility. The decree is in response to a wastewater spill in April 2017. The wastewater contained pollutants, including hexavalent chromium, that entered a waterway that flows into Lake Michigan.

The company must improve its public and stakeholder notification procedures in the event of a spill or release. The decree’s requirements are enforceable under the CWA, Superfund, and Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act. In addition to the civil penalty, the company must reimburse $350,653 to the EPA and $12,564 to the National Park Service for response costs incurred.

Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training

Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field or need an update on changing EPA rules, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise.

Check out the latest EPA compliance training options here:
Complete Environmental Regulations
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 

Tags: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, enforcement, environmental compliance, EPA, EPA Enforcement Roundup, fines, penalties

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion's information is very thorough and accurate. Presenter was very good.

Melissa Little

Regulatory Manager

Best instructor ever! I was going to take my DOT training w/a different provider, but based on this presentation, I will also be doing my DOT training w/Lion!

Donna Moot

Hazardous Waste Professional

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

I used the IT support number available and my issue was resolved within a few minutes. I don't see anything that could have made it better.

Danny Province

EHS Professional

I will never go anywhere, but to Lion Technology.

Dawn Swofford

EHS Technician

Our instructor was very dynamic and kept everyone's interest. Hazmat shipping can be a dry, complicated topic but I was engaged the entire time.

Kimberly Arnao

Senior Director of EH&S

The instructor does a great job at presenting material in an approachable way. I have been able to save my company about $30,000 in the last year with what I have learned from Lion!

Curtis Ahonen

EHS&S Manager

The online course was well thought out and organized, with good interaction between the student and the course.

Larry Ybarra

Material Release Agent

Lion Technology workshops are amazing!! You always learn so much, and the instructors are fantastic.

Dorothy Rurak

Environmental Specialist

Excellent course. Very interactive. Explanations are great whether you get the questions wrong or right.

Gregory Thompson

Environmental, Health & Safety Regional Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

The definitive 10-step guide for new hazardous materials shipping managers. Quickly reference the major considerations and details that impact hazmat shipping compliance.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.