Enforcement and Inspection

The Million-Dollar Environmental Penalties Just Keep Coming!

In our first environmental enforcement report for August 2018, there were two fines of over $1,000,000. In our second roundup for the month, there’s another one! Of course, there was also a fine for a mere $350, so it’s a wide range. Take a look at six recent cases and the penalties that were doled out against the companies involved.

Balancing environmental enforcement and business

Petmal / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Millions in Fines and Compliance Costs for One Business

Anchor Glass Container Corporation

Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Oklahoma                                  Regions 2, 4, 5, 6

CAA violations: The EPA alleged that Anchor, a glass container manufacturer, was in violation of Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations at all six of its manufacturing facilities. The company failed to obtain preconstruction permits and failed to install and operate the appropriate nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM) control technology for major modifications at one or more of its glass manufacturing plants, resulting in significant emissions increases.

Penalty: $1,100,000 fine. In addition, the company will spend approximately $40,000,000 to implement pollution controls and take other actions to reduce SO2 and PM emissions. Anchor will install and operate continuous emissions monitors for NOx and SO2 at all 11 of its glass furnaces and install continuous opacity monitors. Anchor will also complete two mitigation projects; a woodburning appliance changeout project; and a project to repower, retrofit, or replace vehicle diesel engines.

Risk Management Violations

Wal-Mart, Inc.

Pennsylvania                                                     Region 3

CAA RMP violations: According to the EPA, one of Wal-Mart’s distribution centers was in violation of the CAA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. The facility uses 48,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in its refrigeration process. An EPA inspection revealed that the facility failed to document that its equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. The facility failed to have an eyewash station/safety shower outside the machinery room.

Penalty: $1,500 fine.

Lead Violations

Custom Contractors & Remodeling, Inc.

Maryland                                                            Region 3

TSCA and RRP Rule violations: According to the EPA, Custom Contractors & Remodeling was in violation of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations and the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The company then failed to obtain firm recertification, failed to assign certified renovators, failed to provide EPA-approved lead hazard pamphlets, and failed to retain records demonstrating compliance with lead safe work practices.

Penalty: $350 fine.

More Risk Management Violations

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

Tennessee                                                           Region 4

CAA RMP violations: Associated Wholesale Grocers, a cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, was found in violation of the CAA’s RMP regulations. In March 2018, the EPA conducted an inspection that revealed the company could not provide evidence that it used the most recent census data to estimate population potentially affected, reviewed and updated the off-site consequence analyses every 5 years or after an affective process change, demonstrated that its equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, and regularly conducted inspections and tests of process equipment in compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations and good engineering practices.

Penalty: $4,200 fine.

Gavel laying on top of us money.

Air Violations

Spectro Alloys Corporation (Spectro)

Minnesota                                                          Region 5

CAA NESHAP violations: According to the EPA, Spectro, an aluminum recycler, was in violation of the CAA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations for Secondary Aluminum Production. In July 2017, scrap coated with a volatile fluid was fed into the furnace. The company failed to limit PM emissions from its furnace and failed to operate its furnace in a manner consistent with safety and good air pollution control practices.

Penalty: $27,400 fine.

Discharge Violations

Silver Bay Seafoods Metlakatla, LLC

Alaska                                                  Region 10

CWA NPDES violations: According to the EPA, Silver Bay Seafoods, a frozen seafood processor, was in violation of its Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The company discharged untreated sanitary waste to the beach under its facility’s dock, failed to properly treat seafood processing waste, failed to conduct daily visual inspections, and exceeded the effluent limit for seafood processing waste residues. In addition, the company caused routine foam buildup on the surface of the water as a result of its discharge.

Penalty: $73,000 fine.

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