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2010 Region 7 Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results

Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results
Past Regional Annual Results

Map of Region 7 with links to Federal Data State by state Iowa Missouri Kansas Nebraska

Fiscal Year 2010 was a remarkable year for enforcement and compliance actions in Region 7. Actions concluded during FY2010 will translate to more than $3 billion being invested by respondents in pollution control and cleanup. This is the largest single-year amount ever achieved by Region 7 and represents 31 percent of the Agency’s total amount for investments to reduce pollution. Through these actions, respondents in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and on tribal lands will be required to clean up more than 470 million pounds of pollutants, and implement more than $3 million in Supplemental Environmental Projects.

EPA Region 7 made substantial contributions to address important environmental problems that the Agency has designated as National Priorities. Region 7 National Priority cases accounted for more than $3 billion in injunctive relief and will result in the reduction, treatment, minimization or disposal of more than 227 million pounds of pollutants.

Two cases in particular accounted for the majority of Region 7’s National Priority contributions. A Westar Energy coal-fired power plant in St. Mary’s, Kan., will spend more than $500 million to reduce harmful air pollution, in addition to paying $2.75 million in penalties for Clean Air Act violations. Kansas City, Missouri, agreed to make extensive improvements to its municipal sewer systems, at a cost of $2.5 billion over 25 years, for violations of the Clean Water Act.

Region 7 continued its efforts to reduce harmful discharges of pollutants into the region’s rivers and streams. In 2010, the region concluded 34 enforcement actions against concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), resulting in more than 2.9 million pounds of pollutant reductions, respondents’ expenditures of more than $1.5 million on pollution control and cleanup, and more than $100,000 in assessed penalties.

EPA Region 7 demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the integration of environmental justice into all regional programs, policies and activities to achieve measurable results for the environment and the public health of affected communities. In FY 2010, enforcement and compliance assurance actions resulted in the reduction of millions of pounds of pollutants in communities and populations disproportionately impacted by pollution. Reduction and removal of these pollutants can have positive impacts on the health of persons living near these facilities. This is especially important for the vulnerable populations most affected by pollutants, including people with asthma who are active outdoors, children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease. Communities and populations in Region 7 that could be disproportionately impacted by non-compliance with environmental laws will also benefit from the previously mentioned $3 million in respondents’ spending on Supplemental Environmental Projects.

During FY2010 in Region 7, more than 20,000 entities received compliance assistance through web access, training sessions and one-on-one meetings. Region7’s Lead-Based Paint Program made a strong effort to educate small businesses that are subject to regulation under the new lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP).  During FY2009, a campaign to educate and inform more than 8,000 remodeling and painting companies in Missouri and Nebraska took place. In FY2010, it was followed up by Region 7’s partnering with local government agencies, including city and county building permit offices, to provide RRP compliance assistance publications to small businesses.  Through this process Region 7 promoted the new rule by providing approximately 4,500 publications to regulated businesses, and by offering presentations and publications to approximately 25 events or gatherings of small business owners, such as landlord and property management associations, local remodeling and building associations, local real estate organizations and contractor groups.

Region 7’s Criminal Enforcement Program charged 30 companies and individuals with environmental crimes during FY2010. A total of 16 defendants were convicted of environmental crimes. Criminal defendants were assessed $458,700 in fines; $546,751 in restitution; and 30 months of incarceration. Twenty new criminal investigations were initiated.

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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results
Numbers at a Glance
Region 7

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Estimated Environmental Benefit Commitments:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
235,024,378
  • Hazardous WastesTreated, Minimized or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1)
6,664
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
494,438
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
50,000
  • Stream Miles Protected or Restored (Linear Feet)
10,955
  • Wetlands Protected or Restored (Acres)
21
  • People Protected by Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement (# of People)
1,800
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $3,024,245,049
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $3,399,432
Civil Penalties Assessed
Administrative Penalties Assessed $2,265,984
Judicial Penalties Assessed $5,559,200
State/Local Judicial Penalties Asses From Joint Federal-State/Local Enforcement Actions (2) $953,303
Stipulated Penalties Assessed $9,380
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to Department of Justice (DOJ) 13
Supplemental Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to DOJ 2
Civil Judicial Complaints Filed with Court 4
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 10
Administrative Penalty Order Complaints 167
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 167
Administrative Compliance Orders 141
Cases with Supplemental Environmental Projects 20
Compliance Monitoring Activities
Inspections/Evaluations 975
Civil Investigations 7
Number of Regulated Entities Taking Complying Actions as a Direct Results of On-Site EPA Inspections/Evaluations 110
Superfund Cleanup Enforcement
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Clean up Superfund Sites $4,000,001
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Pay for Government Oversight of Superfund Cleanups $1,440,895
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Reimburse the Government for Money Spent Cleaning up Superfund Sites $4,544,860
Voluntary Disclosure Program
Commitments to Reduce, Treat or Eliminate Pollution as a Result of Voluntary Disclosures (pounds) 858,940
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Facilities) 37
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Facilities) 35
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Companies) 34
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Companies) 33
Compliance Assistance
Assistance Tools (3) 2
Workshops and Training 9
Facility Visits, Re-visits and Ongoing Facility Specific Work 191

Sources for Data displayed for Numbers at a Glance: Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS), Criminal Case Reporting System, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Information System (CERCLIS), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo), Air Facility System (AFS), and Permit Compliance System (PCS) October 13, 2010.

Footnotes:

(1)Projected reductions to be achieved during the one year period after all actions required to attain full compliance have been completed.

(2)This measure reports on penalties assessed in federal civil judicial enforcement cases that are awarded to a state or local government co-plaintiff in the case.

(3)EPA provides assistance using a variety of tools including workshops, facility visits, posting web-based information, responding to specific calls about regulations, etc.

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Federal Data Presented State-by-state

EPA works in partnership with states in targeting federal enforcement where it produces the most environmental benefit. The data below shows EPA's activities and achievements.

Caveat - A single enforcement case that addresses facilities located in more than one state will be counted in the total for each state with a facility. The results achieved from this enforcement action will also be counted in each state with a facility.

Region 7, Iowa

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
24,707,431
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
494,010
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
50,000
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $43,889,103
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $1,211,970
Civil Penalties Assesssed $2,028,525
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 1
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 33
Administrative Compliance Orders 54

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Region 7, Kansas

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
165,081,303
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
120
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $584,008,435
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $774,179
Civil Penalties Assesssed $4,753,607
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 3
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 46
Administrative Compliance Orders 22

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Region 7, Missouri

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
55,423,743
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
207
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $2,432,443,307
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $1,768,806
Civil Penalties Assesssed $2,514,909
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 2
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 62
Administrative Compliance Orders 38

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Region 7, Nebraska

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
720,178
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
100
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $11,041,841
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $1,169,082
Civil Penalties Assesssed $1,527,869
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 6
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 25
Administrative Compliance Orders 16

Footnotes:

Sources for Data displayed for Federal Data Presented State-by-State: Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS)

(1) Projected reductions to be achieved during the one year period after all actions required to attain full compliance have been completed.

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Federal Case Highlights Presented State-by-State

IOWA –

Northern Iowa Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: EPA Region 7 brought 26 civil enforcement actions against beef feedlot and dairy operations in Iowa for violations of the Clean Water Act. These enforcement actions were part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the region's rivers and streams. These actions resulted in almost 3 million pounds of pollutant reductions and more than $1 million spent by respondents on pollution control and cleanup. EPA document significant water quality problems associated with medium-sized feedlots (defined as those which confine between 300 and 999 cattle) and continues to make compliance at these operations a priority. Runoff from CAFOs contains pollutants including pathogens, suspended solids, sediment, and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. These pollutants can present serious threats to human health and are harmful to aquatic life.

Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa:  Under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Region 7 completed an assessment of the company’s facilities in Pella and identified a total of 30 different potential sources of soil and groundwater contamination. A compliance order requires the company to conduct a thorough investigation and cleanup of wastes released from the facility. Contaminants to be addressed are primarily solvents and petroleum products related to wood treatment activities at the facility, including the solvent pentachlorophenol which has been detected in groundwater above federal drinking water levels. The City of Pella relies on the nearby Des Moines River and a deep well situated close to the company’s plant for its public drinking water. The company has committed under EPA oversight to investigate its hazardous releases, conduct a study to identify cleanup strategies, and then implement the cleanup selected by EPA at its own expense.

KANSAS –

Westar, Jeffrey Energy Center, St. Mary’s, Kan.: In February 2009, the United States filed a complaint against Westar Energy alleging that the company violated the Clean Air Act by making major modifications to the Jeffrey Energy Center, a coal-fired power plant in St. Marys, Kan., without installing and operating modern pollution control equipment.

The complaint alleged that for more than a decade, the Jeffrey Energy Center operated without the best available emissions-control technology required by the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act to control emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, contributing to formation of fine particulate matter, smog and acid rain.

Westar Energy agreed to pay a $2.75 million civil penalty and spend approximately $500 million to significantly reduce harmful air pollution from power plant. As part of the settlement, Westar will also spend $6 million on environmental mitigation projects.

Coal-fired power plants collectively produce more pollution than any other industry in the United States. They account for nearly 70 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions each year and 20 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions. Emissions from coal-fired power plants have detrimental health effects and have been linked to forest degradation, waterway damage, reservoir contamination and deterioration of stone and copper in buildings. To combat these adverse effects, the EPA and the Justice Department are pursuing a national initiative, targeting electric utilities whose coal-fired power plants violate the law.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/decrees/civil/caa/westarenergy-cd.pdf (72 pp., 625K, About PDF)

MISSOURI –

City of Kansas City, Missouri: The City of Kansas City, Mo., agreed to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems, at a cost estimated to exceed $2.5 billion over 25 years, to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage and to reduce pollution levels in urban stormwater. A consent decree lodged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri requires the city to implement an Overflow Control Plan, which is the result of more than four years of public input.

The plan is designed to yield significant long-term benefits to public health and the environment, and provide a model for the incorporation of green infrastructure and technology toward solving overflow issues. The plan is specifically structured to encourage the city to use natural or engineered “green infrastructure,” such as green roofs, rain gardens and permeable pavement, to minimize stormwater burdens on the improved system.

When completed, the city’s rebuilt sanitary sewer system will have adequate infrastructure to capture and convey combined stormwater and sewage to its treatment plants, keeping billions of gallons of untreated sewage from reaching surface waters.

Through the the agreement, Kansas City will also pay a civil penalty of $600,000 to the United States, and will spend $1.6 million on a supplemental environmental project to implement a voluntary sewer connection and septic tank closure program for income-eligible residential property owners who elect to close their septic tanks and connect to the public sewer.

Saint-Gobain, Pevely, Mo.: As part of the federal government's first-ever nationwide legal settlement with a container glass manufacturer over Clean Air Act issues, all of the company's operating facilities, including one in Pevely, Mo., will be required to install an estimated total of $112 million in new air pollution control equipment.

As part of the settlement, Saint-Gobain agreed to pay a $2.25 million civil penalty to resolve its alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s new source review regulations. Of the $2.25 million civil penalty, Saint-Gobain will pay $1.15 million to the United States and $1.1 million to the 10 states and two local regulatory agencies that joined the case. The State of Missouri will receive a $100,000 share of the settlement.

Nationwide, Saint-Gobain’s installation of the pollution control equipment is expected to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter by approximately 6,000 tons each year. At the Pevely plant, which includes two glass furnaces, the new controls are estimated to cost the company approximately $12 million, and are projected to reduce nitrous oxide emissions by 38 tons per year, sulfur dioxide by 201 tons per year, and particulate matter by 37 tons per year.

More Information: http://www.epa.gov/region07/enforcement_compliance/KCMO_consent_decree_cwa.htm

NEBRASKA –

Elkhorn River, West Point, Neb.: In a series of related cases, five defendants agreed to pay a combined total of $723,000 in civil penalties to the United States and the State of Nebraska to settle allegations of illegally discharging pollutants into the City of West Point’s wastewater system, resulting in illegal discharges to the Elkhorn River. The Elkhorn River has been declared an impaired water due to high levels of bacteria.
 
In 2008, EPA Region 7 filed a complaint in federal court alleging that Mark Peckham, of Sheridan, Wyo.; his company, Peckham, Inc.; along with West Point Dairy Products, LLC (WPDP); and Wimmers Meat Products, Inc.; illegally discharged pollutants into the City of West Point's water treatment system from the late 1970s through at least December 2006, and that the city failed to properly develop discharge limits for those businesses, as required by law.

Peckham's settlement requires payment of a total penalty of $350,000, to be divided equally between the federal government and the State of Nebraska, a co-plaintiff in the case. The settlements previously filed with the court include an agreement by the City of West Point to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 and to install a wind turbine and solar panels for the West Point Public School; and agreements with Wimmers and WPDP to pay civil penalties of $111,600 and $112,500, respectively. They were also required to contribute to state supplemental environmental projects involving Neligh Park Lake and the Nebraska Attorney General's Environmental Protection Fund.

Platte Valley Feeders, LLC, Kearney, Neb.: EPA Region 7 brought three enforcement actions against beef feedlot operations in Nebraska for violations of the Clean Water Act. These enforcement actions were part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the region's rivers and streams. In one of these cases, Platte Valley Feeders, LLC, of Kearney agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty for NPDES permit violations associated with land application of manure and waste water from its storage lagoons at rates that exceeded nutrient management plan requirements. The over-application of manure creates a significant risk that excess pollutants will runoff into nearby rivers and streams.

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