EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 9/18
US businesses are subject to complex, overlapping environmental regulations related to air emissions, discharges to water, hazardous waste management and disposal, oil spills, chemical management, and more. Failure to comply with all applicable US EPA requirements can result in future liability and civil penalties as high as $100,000+ per day, per violation.
The EPA Enforcement Roundup highlights enforcement actions that offer insight into how and why US EPA and state partners assess penalties for noncompliance for environmental regulations.
All violations or claims discussed below are alleged only unless we say otherwise, and we withhold the names of organizations and individuals to protect their privacy.
Your EPA Enforcement Roundup for this week:
A Sparks, Nevada facility to spend $180,000+ in settlement over alleged chemical storage and distribution violations.
After a 2021 inspection and follow-up investigation, EPA claimed that this Nevada facility violated the Clean Air Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act.
Per the Agency, the facility stored and redistributed toxic substances chlorine and sulfur dioxide and failed to manage these chemicals appropriately. The company’s warehouse did not have the required safety information for its ventilation system or its scrubber and did not check the safety records of its contractors before hiring them.
The company will pay $69,396 in penalties and spend $110,756 on portable shelters and accessories for the local fire department so they may better respond to hazmat emergencies.
A California supermarket chain faces $390,000 in penalties for allegedly selling and distributing unregistered cleaning products.
US EPA claims that this supermarket chain violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by selling five products that were not registered with the Agency. Disinfectants, sterilizers, and other products like these that claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides and must be registered with EPA under FIFRA.
The Agency says these products were sold at the company’s stores and distributed to independently operated stores in other parts of the State. Products registered with EPA under FIFRA will feature an “EPA Reg. No.” somewhere on the product’s container.
The New Mexico Environment Department proposed penalties for alleged hazardous waste violations by a pharmaceutical company.
Upon inspection, the Department determined that the site is a Large Quantity Generator, and assessed penalties for the following alleged hazardous waste management violations:
- Failure to keep containers of universal waste lamps closed to ensure no breakage. [220.127.116.110 NMAC and 40 CFR 273.13(d)(1)]
- Failure to conduct weekly inspections of the 90-day storage area. [18.104.22.1680 NMAC and 40 CFR 262.17(a)(1)(v)]
- Hazardous waste storage without a permit. [22.214.171.1240 NMAC and 40 CFR 270.1(c)]
Based on the assessment, the facility faces $43,340 in penalties.
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