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EPA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/9

Posted on March 09, 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: An explosives manufacturer
WHERE: Carthage, MO
WHAT: Clean Water Act and RCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $2.9 million

EPA alleges that an explosives manufacturing company located in the Midwest violated RCRA requirements at two of its Missouri facilities when it allegedly disposed of hazardous waste, including explosives, without a permit. The company also failed to meet Federal Clean Water Act requirements by allegedly discharging pollutants such as ammonia, nitrate, and Nitroglycerin into Center Creek and the Mississippi River in amounts that exceeded the facilities’ permitted limits.

The company has agreed to make extensive improvements to its facilities to prevent future releases and discharges of explosives, nitrogen, and other pollutants, ultimately reducing pollution levels in nearby waterways.

WHO: A fuel oil distributor
WHERE: Rosendale, NY
WHAT: UST violations
HOW MUCH: $82,500

A Mid-Atlantic petroleum distributor reached a settlement with EPA over alleged violations of Federal Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations. The case stems from a 2016 investigation where EPA found the company allegedly did not have the proper overfill prevention standards in place at two of its facilities. Federal officials also noted that the company failed to acquire insurance coverage in case of third-party bodily injury.

The company has agreed to pay $82,500 to settle the alleged UST violations and has agreed to come into compliance.

WHO: A cold storage facility
WHAT: Clean Air Act and EPCRA violations
HOW MUCH: $26,250 plus a $98,438 Supplemental Environmental Project

EPA announced a settlement with a cold food storage facility to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements. Following an inspection of the facility, EPA alleged the company failed to safely manage anhydrous ammonia. EPA also alleges the company failed to timely and accurately submit chemical inventory information regarding the ammonia to the state of Arizona and local emergency response agencies, in violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

As part of the settlement, the company agreed to complete a supplemental environmental project to enhance safety equipment and procedures at the Yuma facility. The project includes installing a new alarm system with sensors to detect ammonia leaks that will automatically shut down the ammonia system, trigger ventilation fans, and notify all within the facility.

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.

Check out the latest EPA compliance training options here:
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 
The 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.