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EPA Takes Action to Address Illegal Destruction of Streams and Wetlands in Missouri and Nebraska

4 weeks 1 day ago

LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 7, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Michael Zahner of Bollinger County, Missouri, and Mark Schmidt of Lancaster County, Nebraska, to take immediate steps to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.

The Agency is also seeking civil penalties for alleged violations of the Act. According to EPA, both Zahner and Schmidt and their respective companies, Zahner Management Company LLC and Evergreen Development Inc., filled in federally protected streams without obtaining required Clean Water Act permits.

In the Compliance Order issued to Zahner and Zahner Management Company on October 7, EPA alleges that Zahner and his company filled in portions of streams to build two lakes on his property, one approximately 13.5 acres and a smaller 2.6-acre lake. The Order requires Zahner to submit a plan to EPA describing how he and his company will mitigate for lost stream functions and stabilize the property to prevent ongoing erosion.

In the Compliance Order issued to Schmidt and Evergreen Development on October 13, EPA alleges that Schmidt and his company channelized a stream; removed in-stream vegetation; and placed fill material into a stream and abutting wetlands, as part of a 16.5-acre residential development project. Further, EPA alleges that Evergreen Development let its Clean Water Act stormwater permit authorization lapse during construction. The Order requires Schmidt and his company to submit a plan to EPA to restore the site or to mitigate for lost stream and wetland functions, as well as ordering Evergreen to reinstate its Clean Water Act permit.

In addition to the Orders issued to Zahner and Schmidt, EPA also filed administrative complaints on October 7 and October 13, respectively, pursuing penalties for the alleged Clean Water Act violations. In Zahner’s case, the Agency is seeking $171,481; and in Schmidt’s case, $138,458.

Under the Clean Water Act, parties are prohibited from discharging pollutants into streams and other protected water bodies unless they first obtain a permit.

Learn more about EPA’s Clean Water Act enforcement authorities.

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Region 07

Utica Resource Operating Agrees to Pay $1 Million Penalty and Mitigate Past Excess Air Pollution at Oil and Gas Production Wells

4 weeks 1 day ago

WASHINGTON – The United States today announced that Utica Resource Operating LLC (URO) has agreed to a settlement resolving alleged Clean Air Act violations at URO’s oil and gas production well facilities in Ohio. The settlement addresses URO’s failure to capture and control air emissions from storage vessels and to comply with associated inspection, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.

Under the terms of the settlement, URO will complete a $1.9 million suite of injunctive relief at 15 well pad facilities to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act and the facilities’ operating permits and implement mitigation measures at many of the wells owned by URO and pay a penalty of $1 million. The injunctive relief includes a multi-step compliance program to review the current design of each storage vessel system and then make necessary design improvements to ensure that vapors will not be released to the environment during operations.

“The uncontrolled air emissions from these well facilities were creating poor air quality for residents of Ohio,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s agreement not only requires the company to resolve their outstanding pollution violations, but also take measures to control their methane and carbon dioxide emissions, which are significant contributors to climate change.”

“This settlement not only requires URO to pay a significant civil penalty, it also requires pollution reductions to offset the effects of the company’s past violations,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “These mitigation measures will reduce the emission of harmful volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases into the environment.”

“Utica Resource Operating’s failure to control emissions from its facilities in Guernsey, Morgan and Washington Counties placed our fellow citizens in harm’s way,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “Today’s settlement, which includes a significant fine, will require URO to comply with the Clean Air Act, and further reinforce the Department of Justice’s commitment to take aggressive action to protect the citizens of this country. We will continue to hold entities who violate the nation’s environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act, accountable for their actions. My office is committed to keeping our citizens safe.”

The settlement requires URO to invest approximately $1.5 million in equipment upgrades and retrofits. These mitigation measures will further reduce pollution at URO well pads to offset past excess emissions from URO’s violations. In total, the improvements will result in estimated annual reductions of 307 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC), 940 tons of methane and 4,429 tons of carbon dioxide. VOCs include a variety of chemicals that may cause adverse health effects, while methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

The EPA found widespread problems with uncontrolled VOC emissions from oil and wastewater storage vessels during inspections of 11 URO well facilities in 2019. These emissions came from pressurized gases venting through imperfectly sealed access hatches on top of the storage vessels, pressure relief devices, and combustors. After learning of other violations relating to inspections, recordkeeping and reporting, EPA issued a notice and finding of violation to URO on Aug. 14, 2020.

The settlement terms are included in a proposed consent decree that the Department of Justice filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. It is available on the Justice Department website.

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

3M Agrees to EPA Order to Sample and Provide Treatment for PFAS Contamination in Drinking Water near Cordova, IL Facility

1 month ago

WASHINGTON – Today, the 3M Company agreed to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order to sample and provide treatment to address contamination from per- and polyfluoroakyl substances (PFAS) found in drinking water in the vicinity of 3M’s Cordova, IL facility. Recent sampling results provided by 3M indicate the widespread presence of a mixture of at least 19 different PFAS chemicals in drinking water within a 3-mile radius of the Cordova facility. Given the unique circumstances affecting this community, including more than five decades of PFAS discharges and the many types of PFAS chemicals found, EPA has concluded that the situation constitutes an imminent and substantial endangerment under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

“I have directed EPA staff to use every enforcement tool at our disposal to require manufacturers of PFAS to address potential endangerment to the public and to compel them to characterize, control, and clean up ongoing and past PFAS contamination,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Communities have suffered far too long from exposure to these chemicals. This settlement is a critical step forward in our work to protect communities from pollution and hold polluters accountable for their actions.”

As part of this settlement, 3M is required to offer treatment to all private well owners within 3 miles of the facility and to the Camanche Water Supply in Iowa, in an effort to remove PFAS from the drinking water. 3M is also required to offer drinking water sampling out to 4 miles from the facility for private well owners and out to 10 miles from the facility for public water systems as well as to the Quad Cities’ public water systems, using EPA protocols and conducted under EPA oversight.

3M’s sampling of the drinking water in private wells near the facility detected a range of concentrations including: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) of non-detect to 25 ppt, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid  (PFOS) of non-detect to 30 ppt, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), or “GenX” of non-detect to 59 ppt, and perfluorobutane sulfunate (PFBS) of non-detect to 51 ppt. 3M did not use EPA test methods for this sampling. As a result, the order issued today requires 3M to sample these wells again following EPA test methods.

3M was one of the original companies developing and producing PFAS within the United States, and their Cordova facility operations and discharges containing PFAS chemicals date back to the 1970s. 3M’s agreement to the terms of the Order including completing the work required under EPA’s oversight is an important step to begin addressing the problem created by decades of contamination. This settlement is part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to compel major PFAS manufacturers to characterize and control ongoing releases from their facilities.  

Background

Last year, EPA launched the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, a whole-of-agency approach for addressing PFAS. The Roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commit to new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable. In the national PFAS Roadmap, EPA commits to investigate releases of PFAS and where needed require manufacturers to characterize and control their PFAS releases. In the Roadmap, EPA also commits to take swift action to address potential endangerments to public health. EPA is actively working with its state partners on this effort, which will build upon valuable work led by a number of states.  

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively called “PFAS,” are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. There are thousands of different PFAS chemicals, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. 

More information on EPA Order to sample drinking water near the 3M Cordova Facility.

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

City of Lakewood, Ohio, Agrees to Improve Sewer Systems to Reduce Discharges of Raw Sewage

1 month ago

WASHINGTON — The city of Lakewood, Ohio, has agreed to perform work that will significantly reduce discharges of untreated sewage from its sewer system into Lake Erie and the Rocky River. The settlement is set forth in an interim partial consent decree that was filed today in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio.

The decree requires Lakewood to complete construction of a high-rate treatment system that will treat combined sewer overflows and build two large storage basins that will hold millions of gallons of wastewater until it can be sent to the wastewater treatment plant. Under the decree, Lakewood will spend about $85 million to improve its sewer system and will pay a civil penalty of $100,000, split evenly between the United States and Ohio.

The decree would partially resolve the violations alleged in the underlying complaint filed by the United States and the State of Ohio. The complaint alleges that Lakewood discharged untreated sanitary sewage into the Rocky River or directly into Lake Erie on at least 1,933 occasions from January 2016 through the present. The complaint also alleges that on numerous occasions from January 2016 through the present, Lakewood discharged water from combined sewer outfalls that violated the effluent limitations included in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

“Discharges of untreated sewage can damage local water bodies and sicken community members who come in contact,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will benefit Lakewood and other Ohio communities by preventing the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated sewage from entering the Rocky River and Lake Erie.”

“Communities must invest in adequate infrastructure to protect the integrity of our nation’s waters,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement requires meaningful investments in Lakewood’s wastewater collection and treatment system that will protect the waters surrounding the city of Lakewood.”

Under the decree, Lakewood will also conduct multiple pipe lining and repair projects within its sewer system designed to eliminate causes of sanitary sewer overflows. Lakewood will also undertake a sampling pilot study designed to identify sewage in stormwater outfalls and a one-year post-construction monitoring program, which will provide the data needed for future work in Lakewood’s sewer system.

The implementation of this decree will prevent millions of gallons of raw sewage carrying harmful pollutants, such as E. coli, from being discharged to Lake Erie and the Rocky River. These reductions in pollutants will improve water quality in Lake Erie and the Rocky River. 

This decree is an important, but partial step to address the problems in Lakewood’s sewer system. It will resolve all civil penalty claims, but will not fully resolve the injunctive relief claims alleged in the complaint. Lakewood will be required through a subsequent, enforceable agreement with the United States and the state of Ohio to implement a plan that addresses the remaining permitted and unpermitted overflows in Lakewood’s sewer system and to demonstrate compliance with the Clean Water Act.

The proposed agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval after publication in the Federal Register. The agreement is available on the Justice Department’s website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

EPA Enforcement Actions Help Protect Health of Vulnerable Communities from Lead Paint Hazards

1 month 1 week ago

WASHINGTON - As part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted several federal enforcement actions completed from October 2021 through September 2022, as well as future planned investigations. These actions ensure that renovation contractors, landlords and realtors comply with rules that protect the public from exposure to lead from lead paint. By bringing companies into compliance with these rules, EPA protects future customers and their families.

Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 presents one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

“Because lead-based paint is the most common source of elevated blood lead levels in U.S. children, EPA is taking action against those who violate federal lead-based paint regulations and ensuring the public understands the danger of this hazard,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The enforcement actions EPA took this past year send a clear message that EPA is committed to enforcing regulations designed to protect the public from lead-based paint exposure.”

Reduction of childhood lead exposures is a high priority for EPA. These enforcement actions reflect the agency’s continuing commitment to implementing the Federal Lead Strategy and EPA’s Lead Strategy and result in reducing or eliminating lead exposures, particularly to children. 

Regulations under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LHRA) apply to most pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities such as pre-schools and child-care centers. TSCA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and Lead-based Paint Activities Rule require contractor certification and lead-safe work practices. LHRA’s Section 1018 Lead Disclosure Rule requires disclosure of information about lead-based paint before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978. By ensuring compliance with federal lead-based paint requirements, EPA addresses a major source of lead exposure that occurs in communities across the nation.

The cases below involve alleged noncompliance with at least one of these lead paint requirements. These cases highlight the range of the Agency’s work, including:

  • criminal prosecution in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ),
  • a focus on geographic areas that suffer from disproportionate levels of lead exposure, and
  • bringing civil administrative actions against renovators with a far-reaching influence on the compliance landscape locally, regionally or nationwide.

By ensuring compliance with federal lead paint requirements, EPA strives to address major sources of lead exposure that occur throughout the nation and particularly in areas of environmental justice concern. In addition to EPA’s actions, the Agency supports states, tribes, and territories on the implementation and enforcement of the EPA-authorized lead-based paint programs.

Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it persists in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint. Lead exposure, particularly at higher doses, continues to pose a significant health and safety threat to children, preventing them from reaching their fullest potential for their health, intellect, and future development. Even small amounts of lead dust can cause harm to children living in the home.

Case Highlights:

Two Chicks and a Hammer, Inc. of HGTV’s “Good Bones” Settle to Resolve Alleged Renovation, Violations

Warner Bros. Discovery Network’s “Maine Cabin Masters” Renovator Agrees to Include Lead Paint Compliance Information in Upcoming Episodes as Part of Settlement

GB Group, Inc. Settles to Resolve Alleged Renovation Violations

Property Management Firm Settles Alleged Lead Renovation and Asbestos Violations

Property Manager Sentenced for Failure to Properly Notify Tenants about Lead Hazards

Owner of Maryland Lead Inspection Company Sentenced

In support of EPA’s Lead Strategy, EPA is also focused on compliance with lead-based paint regulations in family housing, including on military installations. EPA sent several information request letters and subpoenas to housing companies to assess compliance with the regulations, and will take appropriate enforcement action as needed.

To see additional highlights of FY2022 enforcement actions involving lead, see EPA’s 2022 Lead Enforcement Bulletin.

Members of the public can help protect our environment by identifying and reporting environmental violations. Learn more about reporting environmental violations. 

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

EPA Reaches Settlement with Petroff Trucking Company, Inc., Over Destroyed Wetlands in East St. Louis, Illinois

1 month 1 week ago

CHICAGO (Oct. 27, 2022) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Petroff Trucking Company, Inc., for an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act. The company has agreed to purchase and secure 15.5 wetland acres to compensate for wetlands it destroyed in East St. Louis, Illinois.

The settlement is memorialized in a proposed consent decree that the United States lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on October 25, 2022.

“The wetlands of the American Bottoms are vital to the water quality and flood control of the Mississippi River Valley,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Today’s settlement ensures that this significant environmental asset is valued and that those who damage it are held accountable.”

In 2020, the United States, on behalf of EPA, alleged in a complaint that from 2016 through 2019, Petroff Trucking Company, Inc., dredged, filled, and excavated 15.5 acres of wetlands without a permit in clear violation of the Clean Water Act. The operation discharged pollutants into the wetlands which led to their complete destruction. 

Petroff Trucking Company, Inc., will not pay a civil penalty pursuant to the civil penalty factors of the Clean Water Act and EPA policy. The Department of Justice and EPA completed a financial analysis of Petroff’s financial documentation and found that it was formally dissolving and no longer had an ability to pay a civil penalty. However, Petroff has agreed to find and expend $259,000 to buy compensatory wetlands to resolve this action.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. For more information, copies of the complaint and the consent decree will be available on the Department of Justice website.

Region 05

EPA Enforcement Actions in 2022 Help Protect Public Health and the Environment from Dangers of Lead Exposure

1 month 1 week ago

WASHINGTON — Today, as part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, EPA released its 2022 Lead Enforcement Bulletin, which highlights the most notable lead enforcement cases during the past fiscal year. EPA pursued both civil and criminal cases for violations of federal laws to prevent and reduce exposure to lead in paint, drinking water, soils, hazardous waste and other environmental sources. Many of the enforcement actions and activities highlighted in the Lead Enforcement Bulletin address lead exposures in communities disproportionately impacted by lead and areas with environmental justice concerns.

"Despite our understanding of the negative health impacts that can result from lead exposure, many Americans are still exposed, and this is particularly true for underserved and overburdened communities,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Over the last year, EPA took numerous enforcement actions to protect the public from lead exposure.”

Lead-based Paint

The Bulletin highlights both civil settlements and criminal sanctions for violations involving lead in paint:

  • The latest cases against companies whose alleged renovation violations were broadcast on national television involved renovators on the shows “Maine Cabin Masters” and “Good Bones.”   In both cases, the companies agreed to pay civil penalties and educate the public about lead-safe work practices, among other things.  Other recent enforcement actions also addressed alleged renovation violations aired on the television shows “Magnolia Homes,” “Texas Flip N Move,” and “Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions.” 
  • A renovation company agreed to pay a $137,804 civil penalty to settle alleged renovation violations. 
  • A property management/development firm agreed to pay a civil penalty to resolve alleged renovation and asbestos violations in an area with environmental justice concerns.
  • Two criminal cases resulted in sentences and fines. One was for a property manager that failed to disclose known lead paint hazards to prospective tenants and the second was for the owner/operator of a lead inspection firm for falsifying lead paint inspection reports.

Lead in Drinking Water

The Bulletin highlights EPA’s issuance of an order to Benton Harbor, Michigan’s Public Water System to address elevated lead levels in drinking water and other violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This unilateral administrative order requires the City of Benton Harbor’s Public Water System to inform consumers when lead action level exceedances are detected and improve applications of orthophosphate for corrosion control, in addition to repairs at the water treatment plant and improvements to disinfection. The order also requires an independent third-party analysis of alternatives for long-term operation and maintenance of the system.

Lead in Soil / Superfund / Hazardous Waste

The Bulletin highlights:

  • A settlement to recover approximately $1,950,000 in costs for the cleanup of lead-contaminated soil in the Chicago area. 
  • EPA’s order requiring the removal of lead-contaminated soil from 58 residential properties in Viburnum, Missouri.
  • EPA’s selection of a remedy to address lead and other contamination at a Lead Superfund site in Indiana.
  • Criminal sanctions for a former landfill director for illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste containing lead in North Carolina.
  • EPA’s order to prevent the release of lead to the environment from a waste processing facility in Georgia.

In addition, the Bulletin highlights EPA enforcement and compliance assurance activities that address lead exposures from air emissions at federal facilities and on tribal lands. 

More information about lead.

Help protect our environment by identifying and reporting environmental violations.

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

EPA Penalizes Property Management and Development Firm in Waterbury for Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint Violations

1 month 1 week ago

WATERBURY, CONN. (Oct. 27, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached a settlement with Russell Apartments, LLC, a Connecticut property management and development firm located in Waterbury, for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The company agreed to pay a penalty of $25,000 and to certify its return to compliance with these federal laws.

"Reducing exposure to lead and other chemicals is a top priority for EPA, especially in communities that may have shouldered a disproportionate share of exposure," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "This settlement, triggered by EPA's Connecticut Geo Initiative on Lead, increases awareness and improves compliance with lead paint renovation laws, as well as asbestos Clean Air Act laws, to ensure Waterbury families are better protected."

EPA alleged that Russell Apartments, LLC (Russell) violated both the asbestos regulations under the CAA Section 112 and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (Asbestos NESHAP) and the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule under TSCA.

Russell allegedly violated the CAA's Asbestos NESHAP rule by failing to notify EPA of its intention to renovate, failing to adequately wet while stripping asbestos, and failing to keep asbestos waste material adequately wet. The company also allegedly violated the Lead RRP Rule by failing to train and certify their contractors in lead-based paint remediation when it carried out regulated renovation activities at a facility at 73 – 77 Bank Street in Waterbury.

Both alleged violations occurred in areas of the facility containing regulated asbestos-containing material and lead-based paint. After Russell discovered the potential violations, the company obtained the services of an environmental abatement firm to address violative conditions at the site and bring the facility into full compliance.

The facility is located in a potential environmental justice area of concern and was part of a geographic initiative in Connecticut to address areas with environmental justice concerns. This is also the first known case by EPA's New England Region, that addressed both CAA asbestos and TSCA lead-based paint violations.

Background Information

Over the past several years, EPA New England has conducted geographically focused outreach and compliance assistance efforts to raise awareness about lead-based paint hazards among painters and home renovation companies, property managers and landlords, as well as private homeowners. Though lead-based paint was banned in 1978, EPA focuses its work in certain areas because they were identified as areas with a higher risk of lead paint exposure due to older housing stock, high rates of renter occupied housing, and mapped data showing elevated blood lead levels.

EPA prioritizes educating companies and informing the public about federal lead paint rules. EPA's RRP Rule is designed to prevent children's exposure to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards resulting from renovation, repair and painting projects in pre-1978 residences, schools and other buildings where children are present. If lead painted surfaces are to be disturbed at a job site, the RRP Rule requires individual renovators to complete an initial 8-hour accredited training course and the company or firm that they work for to be certified by EPA. These baseline requirements are critical to ensuring that companies take responsibility for their employees following proper lead-safe work practices by containing and managing lead dust and chips created during such projects. Further, the RRP Rule requires that specific records be created and maintained to document compliance with the law.

Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems. Lead exposures to pregnant woman can impact their unborn children's health as well.

More information

Federal Lead Paint

Asbestos

Region 01

EPA, Justice Department Announce Flexsteel Industries Agrees to Pay for the Cleanup of the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Superfund Site in Elkhart, Indiana

1 month 1 week ago

CHICAGO (October 25, 2022) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announce Flexsteel Industries Inc. has agreed to a consent decree that requires the company to pay $9.8 million for the cleanup of contamination at the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Superfund site in Elkhart, Indiana, and to reimburse EPA for a portion of its past costs incurred at the site.

According to the complaint filed simultaneously with the proposed consent decree in the Northern District of Indiana, Flexsteel is liable for the cleanup because its former manufacturing operations contributed to contamination at the site. Previously, EPA entered into administrative settlements with two other potentially responsible parties for their alleged contributions to the contamination at the site.

“Groundwater is a drinking water source for wells and public water systems and it also flows to above-ground rivers and streams,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “Through this settlement and others like it, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities and the environment by holding polluters accountable for groundwater contamination.”

“This settlement ensures that the responsible party and not the taxpayers fund the cleanup of the Lane Street Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The cleanup funded by this agreement protects the environment and the health of the surrounding community.”

“This is an excellent settlement that funds necessary cleanup of a contaminated groundwater plume in Elkhart, Indiana,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson for the Northern District of Indiana. “This cleanup will protect the drinking water and health of Elkhart residents.”

“Indiana proudly works with our federal partners and industries across our state to make sure the health of Hoosiers and our environment is protected,” said Brian Rockensuess, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “This settlement is great news for the people of Elkhart and will help ensure the cleanup of long-standing water contamination.”

The site consists of approximately 65 acres of residential and light industrial properties in Elkhart, Indiana, impacted by a groundwater plume contaminated primarily with solvents and degreasers such as trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. In 2016, EPA issued its record of decision for the site that selected a remedy for treating the groundwater plume by breaking down the contamination into harmless compounds. The proposed consent decree funds implementation of the selected remedy.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval and will be available for public review on the Department of Justice website.

More information about the site is available on the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination website.

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Region 05

EPA Region 8 acts to reduce childhood Lead-Based Paint exposure through compliance with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule  

1 month 1 week ago

DENVER – October 23rd-29th is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) and EPA is working to reduce childhood lead exposure through improved compliance with the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of NLPPW, EPA Region 8 is summarizing compliance activity related to the Rule and reminding residents and owners of pre-1978 homes about the risks of lead-based paint and the importance of following lead-safe practices to keep families safe. 

The RRP Rule protects children, and all individuals, from toxic lead hazards created by renovation activities involving lead-based paint by requiring the certification of individual contractors and firms. Contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must test for lead in paint, or presume lead is present, and apply lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk of toxic lead exposure. Failing to follow these practices can expose the public to lead dust which is especially damaging to children's development.  

“Protecting children’s health is a central part of EPA’s mission and lead exposure in older homes remains a significant risk for families in many communities,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s enforcement program. “EPA expects all renovation companies to ensure their contractors are trained and follow lead-safe work practices.”  

In 2022, EPA Region 8 conducted 81 compliance monitoring activities, including providing educational materials to commercial renovators to promote compliance with the RRP Rule, and issued 13 Notices of Noncompliance to contractors. EPA also reached agreements with eight contractors in Colorado and Montana to settle violations of the Rule resulting in over $30,000 in penalties.

Contractors settling RRP Rule violations in Colorado include Larsen Development Company, Colorado Quality Painting, A+ Handyman Home Improvement, Specialty Construction, Nehemiah General Contractors, and Capital Roofing and Restoration. Contractors settling RRP violations in Montana include Pella Windows and Doors and Paramount Construction and Remodeling. 

Violations included failure to obtain EPA lead-safe firm certification, failure to maintain records documenting compliance, and failure to employ lead-safe work practices when conducting renovations on pre-1978 homes. In all cases, the companies resolved certification and training deficiencies and made commitments to future compliance. These RRP Rule compliance improvements include contractors and firms conducting home renovations in disproportionately impacted communities.  

Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes. Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can, even at low levels, cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. A blood-lead test is the only way to determine if a child has an elevated blood-lead level. Parents who think their child has been in contact with lead should contact their health care provider.  

For more information on how to protect your family and reduce your lead exposure, visit EPA’s “Protect your family” site.

For more information on the RRP requirements.  

To report lead-paint or other environmental violations

Region 08

EPA fines 22 home renovators and contractors for lead-based paint safety violations in Idaho and Washington

1 month 1 week ago

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 has reached settlements with 22 residential home renovators in Idaho and Washington for violations of federal lead-based paint regulations. EPA’s compliance and enforcement program also conducted 137 inspections of home renovation contractors, the highest number of inspections the region has completed in previous years, half of which were in communities with environmental justice concerns. EPA is highlighting these cases as part of this year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, and Children’s Health Month, to raise awareness about children’s environmental health, including the dangers and potential health impacts of lead.

“Lead exposure has disproportionately affected communities of color and low-income residents for far too long,” said EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “Our actions are helping to protect families, workers, and customers while increasing accountability and transparency. EPA’s efforts are helping to raise community awareness and ensure companies comply with certification, training, and safety requirements to reduce lead-based paint health hazards.”

The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule was created to protect the public –especially children under the age of 6– from lead-based paint hazards during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. Lead exposure can cause behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.

Renovators of pre-1978 housing are required by federal law to obtain EPA Firm Certification under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. They must also obtain renovator certification or assign certified renovators to projects; inform tenants and residents of possible lead-based paint and/or known lead hazards; and comply with work practice requirements intended to reduce lead-based paint exposure.

Under the terms of the settlements, the companies agreed to pay civil penalties and to certify that they are complying with the Renovation, Repair and Painting certification requirements prior to offering and performing renovations, as required by the RRP Rule. Companies whose enforcement cases were concluded this year in EPA’s Region 10 include:

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, is an effort to raise awareness of the many ways parents, caregivers and communities can reduce children's exposure to lead and prevent its harmful health effects. EPA partners with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness about lead exposure and lead poisoning by providing resources for the public to use to encourage preventive actions.

This year, EPA is offering the following webinars during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation:

Learn more about EPA’s lead poisoning prevention programs and resources

Region 10

EPA protects Big Island water resources by ordering closure of three illegal cesspools

1 month 2 weeks ago

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken an enforcement action to close two illegal large capacity cesspools (LCCs) at the Wailuku Professional Plaza in Hilo and one cesspool at the SKS Management LLC self-storage business in Kailua-Kona. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA banned LCCs in 2005.

“Big Island companies must do their part to protect our surface water and groundwater resources from the disease-causing pollution found in large capacity cesspools,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is committed to finding and closing all remaining illegal cesspools in Hawai‘i.”

The Wailuku Professional Plaza is located about 100 feet from the Wailuku River in Hilo. In July 2021, EPA conducted an inspection of the Plaza and found two unlawful cesspools serving the multi-tenant commercial office building. Wailuku Professional Plaza, LLC – which owns and operates the Wailuku Professional Plaza – settled the case, agreeing to close the illegal cesspools and pay a $43,000 penalty on May 4, 2022.

EPA also found that the Power Self Storage – Kuakini facility in Kailua-Kona has a restroom that is served by a large capacity cesspool. SKS Management LLC – the facility’s operator – settled the case, agreeing to pay a $28,780 penalty and close the illegal cesspool by September 1, 2023.

These cesspools meet the regulatory criteria of unlawful non-residential large capacity cesspools because they have the capacity to serve 20 or more persons per day. EPA is authorized to issue compliance orders and/or assess penalties to violators of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s cesspool regulations.

Cesspools collect and release untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams, and the ocean.

Since the 2005 federal ban, more than 3,750 large capacity cesspools in Hawaii have been closed; however, hundreds remain in operation. Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state and pose a unique challenge as groundwater provides 95% of all water supply for the islands.

To encourage regulated entities to voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously close these pollution-causing systems, EPA provides penalty mitigation and other incentives for companies that proactively find and close LCCs on their property.

Information on how to self-disclose potential large-capacity cesspool violations is available at: https://www.epa.gov/compliance/epas-edisclosure.

For more information on the federal ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/large-capacity-cesspools.

For more information on cesspools in Hawai’i, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Region 09

EPA Settlement Holds Tanker Truck Company Accountable for Two 2021 Oil Spills in Athol and Revere, Mass.

1 month 2 weeks ago

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Goguen Transportation, Inc. of Gardner, Mass., resolving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act associated with two tanker truck accidents in Revere and Athol, Mass. that resulted in oil discharges to local waters.

"EPA takes our role of protecting public health and our environmental resources very seriously, with a special emphasis on communities that have been historically burdened with high levels of pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Carefully following safety measures to prevent oil spills from occurring is Job One for companies that handle, store and transport oil, and Goguen Transportation failed to take the necessary care."

On two separate occasions, fuel oil was spilled from tanker trucks owned and operated by Goguen Transportation, polluting local waters and violating the Clean Water Act. On October 13, 2021, a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over while navigating a traffic circle in Revere, releasing between 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of fuel oil into areas including Rumney Marsh, Diamond Creek and the Pines River. A second incident occurred on December 22, 2021, when a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over at an intersection in Athol, releasing approximately 4,500 gallons of fuel oil into waters including Mill Brook and Millers River. On both occasions, the released fuel oil created a sheen and accumulated on the shoreline of impacted waters.

The Revere spill occurred in an area (Brown Circle Rotary) where residents have been historically overburdened with environmental concerns, including proximity to traffic and industrial facilities. Rumney Marsh encompasses approximately 2,274 acres and is an important coastal estuary that is home to a variety of wildlife. EPA's coordination with Commonwealth of Massachusetts officials showed that waterfowl were also negatively affected by the Revere spill, and the spill delayed the opening of the clam flat. Rumney Marsh is a 600-acre salt marsh located within the Saugus and Pines River Inlet. The Marsh is designated as an "Area of Critical Environmental Concern" under the Commonwealth and supports numerous activities to the public including canoeing and kayaking, fishing and clam harvesting, hiking and bird watching.

The company will pay a $35,354 penalty. EPA estimates that the company has spent over $570,000 to clean up the Revere spill, and that remediation for the Athol spill will be no less than $300,000 based on the distance oil traveled and amount of oil spilled.
More information: EPA Oil Spill enforcement

Region 01

EPA settles with Guam Shipyard to reduce pollution at Apra Harbor Facility

1 month 2 weeks ago

PITI, Guam – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Guam Shipyard to meet pollutant discharge requirements under the Clean Water Act to protect Apra Harbor.

“EPA will continue to focus enforcement actions on facilities that directly pollute coral reef ecosystems,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “This settlement will prevent industrial stormwater pollution from impacting Apra Harbor and its important coastal resources.”

Guam Shipyard operates a ship repair facility on Cabras Island in Piti, Guam.  It has conducted industrial activities, including boat repair, maintenance, and material storage, since at least January 2016.  The facility is authorized to discharge industrial stormwater through a Clean Water Act permit.

In 2019 EPA issued an order to Guam Shipyard on stormwater discharge permitting and pollution requirements. Two years later the Shipyard and EPA reached a settlement regarding the same set of issues.

However, in 2022 EPA and Guam EPA inspected the facility and found violations of the Shipyard’s permit obligations. EPA inspectors observed the facility had a large accumulation of waste materials throughout the site, including debris, blasting grit, paints and oil which may discharge directly into Apra Harbor. Additionally, the facility failed to conduct monitoring and failed to submit required reports to EPA.

EPA is therefore now requiring the facility to:

  • Clean the site of spills, garbage, and waste materials.
  • Implement Best Management Practices to prevent discharge of pollutants to Apra Harbor.
  • Update its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan to control pollutants.
  • Submit monitoring reports to EPA.
  • Provide employee training to prevent pollution from occurring.

For more information on industrial stormwater requirements, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/industrial-stormwater-guidance.

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Region 09

UPS Settles with EPA to Correct Alleged Hazardous Waste Violations Nationwide

1 month 2 weeks ago

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) to resolve violations of hazardous waste regulations at 1,160 facilities across forty-five (45) states and the territory of Puerto Rico.

EPA’s consent agreement and final order with UPS resolves violations of hazardous waste regulations, including failure to make land disposal determinations, and conduct proper on-site management of hazardous waste, among other requirements. The company has 36 months to come into compliance across 1,160 locations and will pay a civil penalty of $5,323,008. UPS generates hazardous waste regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when a package containing certain hazardous materials is damaged, as well as during day-to-day operations such as maintenance.

“This settlement is another example of EPA’s commitment to protecting communities from the dangers of hazardous waste,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s action requires UPS to address RCRA violations at all of its facilities, as well as implement policies that prevent future noncompliance.”

In 2021, EPA Region 6 entered into a settlement agreement with UPS for its facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Following this settlement, EPA expanded its investigation into other UPS facilities across the country and identified similar claims as was alleged in the Region 6 case. Many UPS facilities were generating and managing hazardous waste in all three generator categories without complying with all the RCRA requirements for each of the three generation categories. Using the e-Manifest system, EPA’s national system for electronically tracking hazardous waste shipments and other reporting databases, EPA was able to determine that these additional facilities also generated, accumulated, and offered for transport, treatment, and/or disposal certain hazardous waste streams, including ignitable, corrosive, and reactive substances, including acute hazardous wastes.

As a result of UPS’s cooperation and their willingness to apply the enhanced programs, which it has developed and is currently implementing at its facilities in Region 6 to address non-compliance, UPS has started similar implementations at its facilities nationwide. 

Under the settlement, UPS has agreed to comply with all relevant state and federal RCRA laws and regulations with a focus on: (1) accurate hazardous waste determinations; (2) complete RCRA Notification; (3) proper employee training; (4) timely annual and biennial hazardous waste reporting; (5) Land Disposal Restrictions determination; (6) proper onsite management of hazardous waste; and (7) all applicable manifest requirements.

The signed Consent Agreement and Final Order can be found on the Environmental Appeals Board website.

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

EPA Announces Community Meeting Oct. 26 to Discuss Environmental Concerns in Verona, Missouri

1 month 2 weeks ago

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 18, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will hold a Public Availability Session and Community Meeting at the Verona High School on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the meeting with a presentation at 7 p.m. Following the presentation by the attending agencies, EPA will facilitate a question-and-answer session until 9 p.m.

“We are following through on our commitment to the city of Verona by bringing together federal, state, and local partners who are vital for protecting public health and the environment,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “EPA and our partner agencies will be available to share information and answer community and individual questions in Verona on Oct. 26.”

At the Public Availability Session, representatives from EPA, Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR), Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be available for one-on-one discussions and questions.

The purpose of the session and meeting is to provide an update on EPA’s ongoing community air monitoring efforts, and to allow partner agencies to provide updates on their work regarding the BCP Ingredients Inc. facility in Verona. EPA will also provide an update on the Syntex Facility Superfund Site, the boundary of which encompasses the BCP facility.

The Community Meeting follows a December 2021 Public Meeting where EPA provided an update on air pollution and groundwater contamination in Verona. In 2019, EPA held additional meetings with the city of Verona and general public to inform them about health risks associated with ethylene oxide emissions, and to provide an update on the groundwater investigation at the Syntex Facility Superfund Site.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Public Availability Session: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
(Break from 6:30 to 7 p.m.)

Community Meeting: 7 to 9 p.m.

The session and meeting will be held at:
Verona Senior High School
101 E. Ella Street
Verona, Missouri 

EPA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. For reasonable accommodations at the Public Availability Session and Community Meeting, please contact Euleashia Embry at: embry.euleashia@epa.gov.

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Region 07

EPA Announces Settlement with Maine-based TV Show to Resolve Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule Violations, Raise Awareness of Lead-Safe Work Practices

1 month 2 weeks ago

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has reached a settlement with Kennebec Property Services, LLC of Manchester, Maine, resolving alleged violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule and requiring Kennebec to provide information about compliance with lead safety rules on its cable TV program “Maine Cabin Masters” which is broadcast on the Warner Bros. Discovery Network.

“Lead exposure for children is extremely dangerous and is entirely preventable. Complying with federal lead paint laws is essential to protect children across the country and is a top priority for EPA,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Television shows that demonstrate home remodeling have a special responsibility to model lead-safe work practices and help their viewers understand common-sense measures to protect themselves and their children from lead hazards.” 

Lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement in children. While lead is dangerous to all children, not all children are equally exposed to lead, nor do they suffer the same consequences of exposure. The harmful impacts of lead disproportionately impact environmentally overburdened, low-income families and their communities. 

In a Consent Agreement and Final Order, EPA alleged that Kennebec performed five renovations in 2020 at residential properties constructed prior to 1978 without complying with applicable RRP Rule requirements.  Specifically, EPA alleged that Kennebec failed to: obtain recertification before beginning renovations, assign a certified renovator to each renovation, provide the owner of each unit with the EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, and maintain records showing their compliance with RRP measures. 

Since being contacted by EPA, the company has obtained RRP firm certification, certified it is complying with the RRP Rule and agreed to comply with the RRP Rule in all future renovation activities. Kennebec has paid a $16,500 penalty.

Further, under the settlement Kennebec has agreed to help raise awareness about the EPA Lead RRP program by providing information about compliance with the RRP Rule in at least three episodes of their upcoming season of Maine Cabin Masters and on the program’s web site, and by producing an episode of their podcast “From the Wood Shed” that focusses on EPA lead safety measures.

EPA has designated the reduction of childhood lead exposures as a high priority. The action announced today support the agency’s continuing commitment to implement the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.  

EPA has settled several other RRP enforcement cases with programs that air on HGTV / Discovery, the same network that airs Maine Cabin Masters, including Two Chicks and a HammerMagnolia HomesTexas Flip N Move, and Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions

More information about EPA’s Lead RRP Rule.

Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)

EPA Cracks Down on Sellers of ‘Defeat Devices’ that Increase Air Pollution

1 month 2 weeks ago

NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that two companies, PARTS iD, Inc. and PARTSiD, LLC (PARTSiD), will pay a penalty of nearly $500,000 in response to EPA claims that the companies illegally sold aftermarket products that disable vehicles’ emissions-control systems – known as defeat devices. While these companies are based in Cranbury, N.J., the devices were sold across the country.

"The sale of illegal devices like these is a fast track to a speedy fine and EPA regularly takes action against illegal sales,” said Lisa F. Garcia, Regional Administrator. “Make no mistake, these pollution control disabling devices have real negative health implications for everyone.”

EPA requires emission controls on vehicles to reduce the harmful air pollutants that they emit and their harmful effects, but aftermarket defeat devices negate those controls. One EPA study found that known sales of defeat devices for certain diesel trucks between 2009 and 2020 resulted in more than 570,000 tons of excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 5,000 tons of excess particulate matter (PM) over the lifetime of the trucks. These are pollutants that have serious health effects and are known to trigger or exacerbate asthma attacks. Respiratory issues like asthma disproportionately affect families, especially children, living in underserved communities overburdened by pollution.

Under a legal agreement with EPA, the company has stopped selling the illegal devices and will pay $491,474 for past violations. EPA found that PARTSiD sold hardware and software specifically designed to defeat required emissions controls on vehicles and engines, including aftermarket exhaust pipes; exhaust-related removal kits; and aftermarket computer software that can alter fuel delivery, power parameters, and emissions. These components are part of vehicle emission control systems installed in most automobiles to meet federal emission standards, and typically control more than 90% of the regulated pollutants passing through them.

Learn more about the EPA’s efforts to stop the sale of illegal defeat devices like those sold by PARTSid.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our web site.

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Region 02

EPA Fines Midwest Motors in Eureka, Missouri, for Alleged Automobile ‘Defeat Device’ Violations

1 month 3 weeks ago

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 13, 2022) – Auto dealership and repair shop Midwest Motors of Eureka, Missouri, will pay a $15,000 civil penalty for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kociela Enterprises Inc., doing business as Midwest Motors, sold or installed so-called “defeat devices” on at least 21 occasions.

“Illegally tampering with auto emissions controls creates harmful air pollution and is a violation of federal law,” said David Cozad, director of the EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA will hold accountable individuals and companies who manufacture, sell, and install defeat devices.”

In addition to paying the civil penalty, Midwest Motors certified that it would not sell or install defeat devices in the future.

Tampering of car engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The Agency identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019. Learn more on EPA’s website.

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Region 07

EPA Fines Asphalt Sales Company in Olathe, Kansas, for Alleged Clean Water Act Violations

1 month 3 weeks ago

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 11, 2022) – The Asphalt Sales Company in Olathe, Kansas, will pay $82,798 in civil penalties and improve pollution controls to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company failed to adequately control stormwater runoff from its asphalt production and demolition landfill facility. EPA says these failures led to illegal discharges of pollutants into Cedar Creek.

“Uncontrolled runoff from manufacturers and landfills not only harms streams and rivers, but it also limits the public’s use and enjoyment of those waters,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA’s enforcement actions demonstrate our commitment to protecting vital watersheds and creating a level playing field with businesses who are complying with the law.”

In the settlement documents, EPA alleges that the Asphalt Sales Company failed to comply with certain terms of its Clean Water Act permit, including failure to construct and/or maintain adequate stormwater controls; allowing stormwater to bypass existing stormwater controls; and failure to conduct and/or document required inspections of the facility.

In addition to paying the penalty, the company agreed to submit a plan to EPA outlining how it will return to compliance, including the installation and maintenance of effective stormwater controls at the facility.

Under the Clean Water Act, industrial facilities that propose to discharge into protected water bodies are required to obtain permits and to follow the requirements outlined in the permits to reduce pollution runoff. Failure to obtain a permit or to follow the requirements of a permit may violate federal law.

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Learn more about EPA’s enforcement of Clean Water Act

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Region 07
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