Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results:
FY2006 Cross-Media Case Highlights
FY2006 Annual Results Topics
Many enforcement cases address environmental harm across air, water and land. Combining enforcement of all media results in a more effective overall management of a facility's or a company's environmental liabilities and is generally more cost-effective than bringing two or more independent media-specific actions.
The following major civil enforcement cases were concluded this year.
Chemicals have become a pervasive and enduring part of our environment. They are used in our manufacturing processes, and they are essential components for consumer and industrial goods. EPA assures that chemicals made available for sale and use in the United States do not pose any adverse risks to human health or to the environment.
The following major cases were concluded this year.
3M voluntarily disclosed all of the violations covered by this settlement under the terms of a Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) corporate-wide audit agreement. 3M performed a comprehensive management systems review of 28 separate business units and facilities to determine the compliance status of all TSCA-regulated chemicals and processes. As a result of the audit, 3M corrected a number of violations, including failures to notify EPA on new chemicals, late reporting on substantial risk information, and other reporting violations. During the course of the audit, 3M produced valuable, previously unreported information that will help the scientific community to better understand the presence of toxic substances in the environment. Under the April 2006 settlement, 3M agreed to pay an approximately $1.5 million penalty for those disclosed violations that did not meet all applicable conditions of the Audit Policy.
DuPont agreed to resolve violations that the company failed to report substantial risk information about the synthetic chemical Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Perfluorooctanoic Acid is used in the manufacturing process of fluoropolymers, including some Teflon® products. DuPont will pay $10.25 million - the largest civil administrative penalty EPA has ever obtained under any federal environmental statute. DuPont also will perform two supplemental environmental projects expected to cost $6.25 million that will produce valuable information for the scientific community to better understand the presence of PFOA in the environment and any potential risks it poses to the public.
Cross-Media Emissions - Vinyl Chloride
In 2002, EPA developed a multi-media chemical targeting approach utilizing public health and environmental data to identify potential candidates for enforcement. Using this approach, EPA selected six chemicals, one of which was vinyl chloride - a known carcinogen and an ozone precursor. The polyvinyl chloride manufacturing industry was an appropriate candidate for enforcement because it was responsible for the majority of vinyl chloride emissions in the United States. Most vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride plastic and vinyl products. Exposure to vinyl chloride emissions has been linked to adverse human health effects and cancer. As a result of three EPA enforcement settlements, the vinyl chloride initiative has reduced vinyl chloride emissions by a total of approximately 128,000 pounds.
The following major cases were concluded this fiscal year.
Formosa Plastics Corporation agreed to resolve multi-media violations at its Delaware plant and to reduce 36,000 pounds of permitted vinyl chloride emissions – a known human carcinogen, and up to 20,000 additional pounds through a unique incentive program. Formosa will pay a $450,000 civil penalty and will perform supplemental environmental projects expected to cost $843,000.
Oxy Vinyls, L.P. North America’s largest poly vinyl chloride resin supplier agreed to reduce vinyl chloride emissions by over 40,000 pounds a year and to resolve multi-media violations. Oxy will pay a $140,000 federal civil penalty to be divided equally with the Louisville Metropolitan Air Pollution Control District and a $200,000 state-only penalty to New Jersey for New Jersey state-only violations. Oxy also will spend $1,244,000 to implement supplemental environmental projects.
Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) are environmentally beneficial actions that a violator agrees to perform as part of an enforcement settlement. SEPs go beyond compliance and provide significant benefits to public health and the environment. EPA enforcement settlements concluded in fiscal year 2006 include 220 cases requiring violators to implement SEPs with a value of over $78 million. The following settlements are examples of fiscal year 2006 cases that include SEPs with substantial environmental or public health benefits.
Airgas a national industrial gas supplier agreed, as part of an administrative settlement for violations relating to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, to properly dispose of more than 1,500 cylinders recovered by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality during the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. These projects contribute to the hurricane clean up effort in Louisiana and are expected to cost over $118,000. More information about EPA’s response to Hurricane Katrina is available at: [More Information]
City of Sunland Park (Santa Teresa Waste Water Treatment Plant) agreed, as part of an administrative settlement resolving Clean Water Act violations, to provide medical treatment to indigent individuals suffering health impacts associated with contacting contaminated Rio Grande River water. The cost of the SEP is $30,510.
Motiva as part of a settlement resolving multi-media violations, agreed to conduct several SEPs: purchase hybrid busses for the Delaware Transit Corporation, place a conservation easement on approximately 1,410 acres of land to prevent further development, restore and create a shellfish habitat, purchase and donate emergency response equipment to the community located near the facility, construct a meteorological station near the refinery, and install and operate a water quality monitoring station in the Delaware River. The total cost of these projects is almost $6.4 million.
Raritan Brunswick, L.P. agreed, as part of an administrative settlement for violations relating to Toxic Substances Control Act 1018 requirements, to replace approximately 221 windows with lead-free, vinyl windows to eliminate the potential hazards of lead-based paint at a cost of more than $53,000.