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 retirement housing complex
WHERE: Omao, HI
WHAT: Safe Drinking Water Act violations
HOW MUCH: $55,182
A housing complex for the elderly in Omao has agreed to close 16 pollution-causing large capacity cesspools (LCCs) as part an agreement with Federal environmental officials. During a 2019 investigation, EPA officials discovered 14 of those LCCs serviced seven multi-unit residential buildings
and one serviced a recreation center building.
Under the EPA compliance order, the facility has agreed to close the cesspools by December 31, 2022. The owners of the housing complex have since announced plans to replace the LCCs with a state-approved wastewater treatment system.
WHO: A farming company
WHERE: Laurel, DE
WHAT: FIFRA violations
HOW MUCH: $25,000
EPA has cited a farm in Delaware for allegedly failing to comply with FIFRA’s agriculture Worker Protection Standard
after allegedly failing to provide decontamination supplies to employees who worked in pesticide-treated areas, among other violations.
As part of the agreement, the farm does not admit liability for the alleged violations but has since certified compliance with the worker protection requirements.
WHO: A powder coating manufacturer
WHERE: Cedar Rapids, IA
WHAT: RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $19,000
During a May 2019 inspection at a custom and industrial metal coating manufacturing facility, EPA found the facility allegedly failed to perform required hazardous waste determinations
and failed to comply with hazardous waste generation and handling requirements.
In response to the inspection findings, the facility took the necessary steps to return to compliance. To settle the alleged violations, the company also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $19,000.
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