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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/11

Posted on February 11, 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 petroleum refinery
WHERE: Oregon, Ohio
WHAT: Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $2.6 million plus a $1.2 million supplemental environmental project

An Ohio oil refinery reached a multi-million-dollar agreement with State and Federal agencies to resolve alleged violations of several environmental regulations. This agreement is also intended to resolve alleged violations of a consent agreement established in 2001.

Not only will the refinery pay over $3.8 million in penalties, the agreement also requires injunctive relief related to the company’s continuous emissions monitoring systems, leak detection and repair program, wastewater collection systems, and hazardous substance release reporting procedures. The company must also perform a mitigation project involving the refinery’s sulfur recovery plant.
 

WHO: A pool supply company
WHERE: Phoenix, AZ
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $800,000

EPA has issued a penalty against a company that sells pool supplies for allegedly selling an unregistered pesticide. The action requires the company to halt sales, distribution, and transport of the pool disinfectant after a statewide stop-sale order was issued in 2018 by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Under Federal law, companies must provide formulation and production data to EPA in registering a pesticide product. This ensures the efficacy and integrity of products for consumers. Federal pesticide laws also require registration of pesticide products and proper pesticide labeling and packaging. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
 

WHO: A paper and chemical processing facility
WHERE: Crossett, AR
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $600,000

A paper and chemical manufacturer came under EPA scrutiny after a 2015 inspection allegedly uncovered a lack of air pollution controls at two wood pulp washers. Since then, the company has announced it would permanently shut down some equipment and processes supporting the pulp mill portion of its paper manufacturing operations at its Crossett facility near the end of 2019.

EPA has ordered the company to participate in three supplemental environmental projects designed to benefit the local community. The company must also replace its vacuum pump system to collect waste gases, construct a storage tank to reduce the risk area of a hazardous air pollutant in the event of a release, and purchase a long-ladder fire truck for the City of Crossett Fire Department.
 

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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:
 
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The 2020 nationwide schedule for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is available online. Collaborate with other managers to identify the requirements that apply to your facility, ask the right questions, and make the right decisions about EPA compliance.