Enforcement and Inspection

A New Enviro Enforcement Roundup

While our September 2018 environmental enforcement roundup isn’t as dramatic as some of our other recent reports, it still provides valuable lessons for organizations that want to avoid becoming the next statistic. It’s also worth noting that a provider of environmental services (which you’d think would know compliance backwards and forwards) made this month’s list, highlighting the need for constant vigilance.

Environmental Law

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Reporting Violations

New Standard Corporation

Pennsylvania                                                 Region 3

EPCRA violations: According to the EPA, the New Standard Corporation, which operates a metal stamping manufacturing facility, was in violation of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) regulations. The company failed to report its use or processing of chromium, manganese, and nickel to the EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the local fire chief.

Penalty: $39,677 fine.

Waste Violations

Clean Harbors Florida, LLC

Florida                                             Region 4

RCRA violations: The EPA and the Florida DEP found Clean Harbors, a provider of environmental, energy, and industrial services, in violation of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. The company failed to have adequate space to allow for unobstructed movement of personnel, fire protection, and emergency response equipment. In addition, Clean Harbors failed to repair defective pressure relief devices on its hazardous waste tank systems within 5 calendar days of the initial leak detection.

Penalty: $11,000 fine.

Drinking Water Violations

CertainTeed Corporation

Louisiana                                                       Region 6

SDWA violations: The EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that CertainTeed, a building material manufacturer, was in violation of Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulations at its Lake Charles Polymer Plant. CertainTeed failed to correct significant deficiencies discovered during a Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) sanitary survey of its public water system located at its plant. The company failed to provide approved and permitted drinking water at its facility for its employees. In addition, CertainTeed failed to monitor and test for contaminants. Despite many enforcement efforts by both the EPA and Louisiana, CertainTeed failed to address the significant deficiencies identified in the survey for over 4 years.

Penalty: $365,500 fine.

Water Violations

Bar MK, LLC, and Cindy Stratman dba Cindy Stratman Livestock

Nebraska                                                       Region 7

CWA violations: According to the EPA, Bar MK, LLC, and Cindy Stratman Livestock, two concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) facilities, were found in violation of Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations. EPA inspections conducted found that both CAFO facilities lacked adequate, engineered livestock waste controls to prevent discharges of manure and process wastewater. The EPA found that feedlot-related pollutants discharged into an unnamed tributary of Plum Creek, which discharges into the Elkhorn River, a river that Nebraska listed as “impaired” for Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Penalty: $29,000 fine for Bar MK and $22,000 fine for Cindy Stratman Livestock. In addition, both CAFO facilities must stop all discharges, reduce the amount of cattle at their facilities, or obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that would require measures to minimize pollutant impacts.

Balancing environmental enforcement and business

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Waste Woes

J.H. Baxter & Co.

Oregon                                            Region 10

RCRA violations: In 2014, the EPA inspectors found that J.H. Baxter & Co., a producer of treated wood, was in violation of RCRA regulations. The company left staining from the wood preservatives creosote and pentachlorophenol on an asphalt pad outside of a containment area and had a container of hazardous waste from wood-treating activities that was not marked or dated. In addition, the EPA found that the company was not adequately cleaning a drip pad to prevent pentachlorophenol and creosote from migrating from the containment area.

Penalty: $64,000 fine.

Permit Violations

City of Worley

Idaho                                                Region 10

CWA NPDES violations: The city of Worley was found in violation of CWA NDPES regulations at its wastewater treatment plant. The city exceeded its NPDES permit limits for E. coli, total suspended solids (TSS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and ammonia.

Penalty: $4,100 fine. In addition, the city will reassess effluent sampling protocols, purchase new sampling equipment, improve influent piping, provide refresher training to its wastewater employees, and update its Emergency Response and Notification Plan.