We’ve been monitoring violation activity and speaking with new clients directly impacted by recent inspections, resulting in unexpected fines. Environmental Enforcement is getting stricter and more and more companies are being cited for violations and typically with a significant fine. It is more critical than ever to keep on top of requirements, document and follow a strong safety/environmental plan-including appropriate reporting and record retention. Don’t ignore issues! The importance of good routines is crucial to keep on top of compliance issues, and more importantly, identifying what may not be happening in your operations.
Think it’s not serious? Check out the following case studies of companies that have been given violation notices. Serious fines that could have been avoided and these are just a few:
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
We can’t stress enough the need to make sure you are vigilant. If you need support or assistance please contact us to make sure you are within environmental regulations.
(EHS Daily Advisor)