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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/18

Posted on February 18, 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: Three metal recycling facilities
WHERE: Lewiston, ME
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $250,000

The owners of three Maine recycling facilities have agreed to resolve allegations of violating Federal clean water laws and State permits. According EPA and State officials, the companies did not have adequate stormwater pollution prevention plans nor best management practices and failed to do proper monitoring, sampling, inspections, and training. Two of the facilities also violated oil spill prevention planning requirements.

Metal scrapyards can discharge pollutants through stormwater, including suspended solids and many other pollutants that present the potential to harm human health, the environment, and aquatic ecosystems. The facilities agreed to comply with all stormwater permit requirements, including submission of and compliance with adequate stormwater plans and proper maintenance, monitoring, and sampling.

WHO: Two municipal power companies
WHERE: Hagåtña, Guam
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $400,000

A pair of utility companies on Guam have been accused of operating residual oil-fired Electric Generating Units (EGUs) without emission controls, according to EPA. Older EGUs operating on residual fuel oil without emission control technology release hazardous air pollutants in violation of the Clean Air Act.

This settlement requires the organizations to retrofit two engine units by switching completely to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and installing emissions controls; retire and replace any units that have operated beyond their useful life; construct 100 megawatts of solar power generation; and construct a 40 megawatt energy storage system.

WHO: An aerospace and wind energy parts manufacturer
WHERE: Huntington Beach, CA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $95,208 plus a $66,000 Supplemental Environmental Project

EPA has finalized a settlement with a large-scale aerospace, automotive, marine, and wind energy materials manufacturer over alleged unauthorized stormwater discharges. According to EPA, the company failed to obtain a stormwater discharge permit from the California State Water Resources Control Board among other violations.

In addition to paying a penalty, the company agreed to conduct five beach cleanup events and complete a habitat restoration project as part of a Supplemental Environmental Project. The Project is intended to replenish native Olympia oyster shells in the Upper Newport Bay and regrow eelgrass to improve sustainability.

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.

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Clean Air Act Regulations Online
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Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 
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.