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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 8/17

Posted on August 17, 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: An excavating contractor
WHERE: Bayton, TX
WHAT: RCRA and TCEQ violations
HOW MUCH: $48,750

A blasting company in the Lone Star State has been ordered to pay $48,750 for allegedly failing to conduct hazardous waste determinations and waste classifications. State officials alleged this caused some of the industrial solid waste (ISW) to be disposed of at unauthorized facilities.

The excavating company agreed to conduct hazardous waste determinations and classifications on all wastes and ensure all ISWs are disposed of at approved facilities.
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WHO: A scrap metal processor
WHERE: Johnston, RI
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $875,000

A New England scrap metal facility has been cited for allegedly emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other potentially harmful air pollutants without a permit. According to State environmental officials, a 2012 pre-construction engineers report stated that there would be no release of regulated air pollutants from the facility’s shredding process. However, inspections in 2014 and 2016 allegedly found violations and a lack of permits.
The company has agreed to pay $550,000 to the state of Rhode Island and $325,000 to Johnston and Providence, which will fund unspecified projects.

WHO: A fruits and vegetables processing company
WHERE: Modesto, CA
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $51,905

EPA has announced a settlement with a food processor for the alleged production and distribution of an active ingredient, Pseudomonas chlororaphis. The Pseudomonas chlororaphis was allegedly used for organic farming without being registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The agreement comes after an incident in August 2019 during which five workers were reportedly sent to Urgent Care after exhibiting symptoms of pesticide exposure after having worked with the active ingredient. The company has since signed a statement agreeing to no longer produce any ingredients regulated by FIFRA.

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