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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/27

Posted on January 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 multi-national oil and energy company
WHERE: Penn Township, PA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $1.95 million

A Texas-based oil company has been fined for failing to report a spill into Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. In 2017, the company was constructing a natural gas liquid pipeline when 208,000 gallon of drilling fluid seeped into the nearby lake. State officials have noted that the fluid poses no risk to human life. However, they found that the fluid had a negative effect on some “deep aquatic life.”

In a previous agreement, the energy company agreed to invest at least $1.5 million into a fish and habitat improvement plan and implement an invasive aquatic vegetation control plan.

WHO: An industrial container provider and a motor fuels distributer
WHERE: Beavercreek, OH
WHAT: CERCLA settlement
HOW MUCH: $1,300,000

A company that manufactures hazmat drums and other industrial containers has been named in a consent decree along with a major motor fuels distributer the resolve allegations that the companies may have contributed to a release at the Lammers Barrel Superfund Site.

Lammers Barrel Superfund Site was once the site of a barrel factory where a major explosion occurred in 1969. At the time, nearby residents reported the fire launched barrels into the air, landing up to a half-mile away from the site. Lammers Barrel is currently on the National Priorities List (NPL), which guides EPA in determining which sites require further investigation.

WHO: A limestone quarry
WHERE: Iowa City, IA
WHAT: Clean Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $33,500

EPA issued a civil penalty to a limestone quarry as a result of an inspection in April 2019. Federal officials allege the company violated its Clean Water Act permit when it failed to develop a pollution prevention plan, install and maintain controls to prevent the runoff of stormwater-containing pollutants from the facility, and monitor the runoff of stormwater from the facility.

The company has agreed to update its pollution prevention plan and will take steps to eliminate discharges to nearby Muddy Creek and Iowa River.

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