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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 2/25

Posted on February 25, 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 welding supply company
WHERE: Pasco, WA
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $100,000

EPA alleges that a welding supply company located in the Midwest violated Federal risk management plan requirements at one of its storage facilities when it failed to provide required contact information for local emergency response agencies. EPA also alleged that the company failed to comply with Clean Air Act requirements by not ensuring the safe handling, storage, maintenance, and functional integrity of the cylinders of chlorine and sulfur dioxide stored at the facility.

The company stored more than 2,500 lbs. of chlorine and 5,000 lbs. of sulfur dioxide at the facility and was required to develop and implement a Risk Management Plan to detect, prevent, or minimize accidental releases of the toxic chemicals and provide prompt emergency response should a release occur.

WHO: A waste management facility
WHERE: Bristol, CT
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $58,338

A New England waste management facility reached a settlement with EPA over alleged violations of PCB regulations. The case stems from a self-reported incident of non-compliance, pursuant to a Federal RCRA permit. It involved improper manifesting of PCB remediation waste resulting from a transformer spill as non-hazardous and improper disposal at a facility in New York based on field screening testing alone.

The company has agreed to pay $58,338 to settle two counts of alleged RCRA violations and has come into compliance since the violations were brought to the company’s attention.

WHO: A motor and generator manufacturer
WHERE: Wausau, WI
WHAT: Clean Air Act violations
HOW MUCH: $103,000 plus a $14,000 supplemental project

EPA announced a settlement with a motor manufacturer to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s recordkeeping requirements. Following an inspection of the facility, EPA alleged the company had violated the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants by failing to document its compliance with emission limits for mercury and carbon monoxide.

As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to purchase new welding torches to help reduce emissions of heavy metals and particulate matter in the greater Wausau area.

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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.

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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.