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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 4/27

Posted on April 27, 2020 by 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: A pharmaceutical manufacturer
WHERE: Guayama, PR
WHAT: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA, and EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $539,784

A multinational drug manufacturer has been cited for numerous violations of Federal environmental regulations at one of its pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico. According to EPA, the company allegedly made misrepresentations in its Title V permit application, stored hazardous waste without a permit, and violated its wastewater treatment permit.

The facility has ceased operations since receiving the notice of violations.

WHO: A property developer
WHERE: Little Village, IL
WHAT: Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $68,000

Illinois environmental enforcement officials issued 16 citations to a property developer relating to the controversial demolition of an old coal plant in April 2020. State officials allege the company failed to adhere to its stormwater pollution prevention plan requirements, which outline the dust control measures that should have been in place prior to demolition.

The demolition caused a 95-year old smokestack to implode. News outlets report a plume of dust rained down on the surrounding community, coating vehicles, sidewalks, and homes while causing widespread respiratory concerns.

WHO: A power generation company
WHERE: Baltimore, MD
WHAT: EPCRA and CERCLA violations
HOW MUCH: $105,000

EPA cited an electric utility company for allegedly failing to report a 2017 release of a hazardous substance at its Baltimore facility in a timely manner. Federal officials allege the company did not provide required immediate notices to Federal, State, and local emergency response officials until four hours after learning of a release of approximately 1,126 pounds of sodium hypochlorite into the Patapsco River.

EPCRA requires notification to the State and local emergency officials, and CERCLA requires notification to the National Response Center (NRC), the national point of contact for reporting oil and hazardous chemical spills. 

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