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Telecommunications Industry Compliance Incentive Program

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The Agency achieved its first settlement in this effort with GTE Corporation on January 21, 1998. GTE voluntarily informed EPA under the Agency’s Audit Policy that it had failed to notify state agencies and local fire departments of sulfuric acid-filled batteries at a number of sites, in violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). GTE also told EPA that it had violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by failing to develop Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans for facilities that stored diesel fuel. The settlement resolved violations at 314 facilities. By consolidating the audit disclosures involving so many facilities, EPA and GTE were able to reach agreement through a streamlined process that benefitted the company, EPA, and most importantly, the public and environment.  

Since EPA reached its first Audit Policy settlement with a telecommunications company in 1998, more than 40 telecommunications companies have disclosed violations of EPCRA, the CWA, Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Compliance results include insuring that: emergency responders and planners have information regarding the presence of hazardous chemicals at facilities; facilities have SPCC Plans; and facilities are in compliance with various CAA requirements. This effort demonstrates that industry and the Agency can work together toward a common goal to achieve greater compliance and a higher level of environmental management without costly litigation.

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Consequences of Discovery by the Government

Under a consent decree entered on December 16, 2003, ALLTEL Corporation (ALLTEL), a leading provider of communications and information services was required to carry out cross-cutting environmental compliance audits at its facilities nationwide (over 7,500) and pay a $1,058,000 civil penalty. The agreement settled claims that ALLTEL violated the CAA, CWA, and/or EPCRA at 205 of its facilities in 18 states. This settlement highlights EPA’s commitment to pursue noncompliers who have elected not to participate and take advantage of compliance incentive efforts initiated by EPA to ensure compliance with environmental laws. 
The telecommunications companies settling with EPA have spent over $4 million to achieve environmental compliance at their facilities, and paid approximately $3.5 million in penalties. While EPA waived potential gravity-based penalties, for most of the cases resolved under the Audit Policy, EPA collected the economic benefit gained by the companies that delayed compliance. EPA considers economic benefit to be an important component of a penalty to ensure that violators do not obtain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors.

For information about the environmental requirements for telecom facilities, and for a list of settled cases, see below.

"Enforcement Alert" Newsletter: "EPA's 'Audit Policy' Offers Opportunity for Telecommunications Industry to Remedy Violations" Volume 3, Number 6 (June 2000) (PDF, 38KB, 4 pages)

For more information concerning the EPA Telecommunications Program or EPA’s Audit Policy, contact Phil Milton at (202) 564-5029, milton.philip@epa.gov.

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Summary of Telecom Cases

Since 1998, over 6000 facilities have been brought into compliance through 38 settlements (34 under the Audit Policy).  A list of these matters is below.

Specifically, EPA’s efforts have resulted in the following:

Summary of Telecom Cases

ICIS No.

Case Name

Case No.

Description

 

HQ-1997-6000
 

 

GTE Corporation

 

EPCRA-97-H-001
CWA-97-H-001

 

Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 314 facilities in 21 states.  Final Order signed 1/21/98.

 

HQ-1999-6000

 

US Cellular Corp.

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-001
CWA-HQ-99-001

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 46 facilities in 20 states.  Final Order signed 2/3/99.

 

HQ-1999-6001

 

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.

 

CWA-HQ-99-002

 

CAFO resolved CWA violations at 117 facilities in 5 states.  Final Order signed 4/7/99.

 

HQ-1999-6002

 

PrimeCo Personal Communications

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-002

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA violations at 14 facilities in 6 states.  Final Order signed 2/4/99.

 

HQ-1999-6003

 

Cincinnati Bell Tel. Co. & Cincinnati Bell Long Distance Co.

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-003

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA violations at 42 facilities in 3 states.  Final Order signed 2/2/99.

 

HQ-1999-6004

 

Convergys Customer Mgt Group Inc.

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-004

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA violations at 5 facilities in 3 states.  Final Order signed 2/2/99.

 

HQ-1999-6005

 

Cellco Partnership (BAM)

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-005
CWA-HQ-99-003

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 189 facilities in 20 states.  Final Order signed 4/9/99.

 

HQ-1999-6007

 

BellSouth Corporation

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-008
CWA-HQ-99-004

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 9 facilities in 4 states.  Final Order signed 12/16/99.

 

HQ-1999-6009

 

US West Communications

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-009
CWA-HQ-99-008

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 19 facilities in 8 states.  Final Order signed 2/24/00.

 

HQ-1999-6008

 

Bell Atlantic Companies

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-010
CWA-HQ-99-009

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 72 facilities in 12 states and DC.  Final Order signed 1/18/00.

 

HQ-1999-6010

 

Western Wireless and VoiceStream Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-011
CWA-HQ-99-007

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 34 facilities in 19 states.  Final Order signed 1/20/00.

 

HQ-2000-6000

 

AirTouch Communications

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-013

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA violations at 61 facilities in 5 states.  Final Order signed 1/18/00.

 

HQ-2000-6001

 

Paging Network, Inc

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-012
CWA-HQ-99-006
CAA-HQ-99-002/S

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA, CWA and CAA violations at 9 facilities in 6 states.  Final Order signed 2/15/00.

 

HQ-2000-6002

 

NEXTLINK

 

MM-HQ-2000-0004

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA, CWA, CAA, and RCRA (1-UST financial assurance) violations at 61 facilities in 20 states.  Final Order signed 12/19/00.

 

HQ-2000-6003

 

AirTouch Communications

 

MM-HQ-2000-0006

 

CAFO resolved CWA and CAA violations at 61 facilities in 7 states.  Final Order signed 12/22/00.

 

HQ-2000-6010

 

AT&T Corp.

 

MM-HQ-2001-0004

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 494 facilities in 32 states.  Final Order signed 1/18/01.

 

HQ-2000-6011

 

Qwest Communications

 

MM-HQ-2001-0002

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA, CWA, and CAA violations at 410 facilities in 40 states.  Final Order signed 1/19/01.

 

HQ-2000-6008

 

AT&T Broadband

 

MM-HQ-2001-0001

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 97 facilities in 21 states.  Final Order signed 1/22/01.

 

HQ-2000-6007

 

Broadwing Communications Inc.

 

MM-HQ-2001-0015
NOD: MM-HQ-2001-0016

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA and CWA violations, and NOD resolved CAA violations at 246 facilities in 33 states.  Final Order signed 5/1/01 and NOD signed 1/30/01.

 

HQ-2001-6000

 

XO

 

MM-HQ-2001-0017

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA, CWA, CAA violations at 4 facilities in 3 states.  Final Order signed 5/29/01.

 

HQ-2001-6001

 

WorldCom

 

CAA-HQ-2001-6001
EPCRA-HQ-2001-6001
CWA-HQ-2001-6001

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA, CWA, and CAA violations at 437 facilities in 43 states.  Final Order signed 12/3/01.

 

HQ-2001-6040

 

Cellco Partnership, Doing business as Verizon Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-2001-6040

 

CAFO resolved EPCRA violations at 110 facilities in 1 (CA) state.  Final Order signed 12/3/01.

 

HQ-2001-6041

 

360 Networks

 

NOD:
EPCRA-HQ-2001-6041,
CWA-HQ-2001-6041,
CAA-HQ-2001-6041

 

Notice of Determination (NOD) resolved EPCRA, CWA, and CAA violations at 24 facilities in 13 states and DC.  NOD signed 11/08/01.

 

HQ-2000-6012

 

Sprint

 

01-1120-CV-W-6

 

Consent Decree (CD) resolved EPCRA and CWA violations at 398 facilities in 36 states and DC.  CD entered 11/27/01.

 

HQ-2001-6002

 

Comcast

 

CWA-HQ-2001-6002, EPCRA-HQ-2001-6002, CAA-HQ-2001-6002

 

CAFO resolved violations for CWA, EPCRA and CAA at 131 facilities at 20 states.  Final Order signed 04/18/02.

 

HQ-2002-6002

 

Dobson Cellular Systems, Inc. and American Cellular Corporation

 

EPCRA-HQ-2002-6002, RCRA-HQ-2002-6002,
CWA-HQ-2002-6002,
 CAA-HQ-2002-6002

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA, RCRA, CWA, and CAA at 29 facilities in 16 states.  Final Order signed 10/29/02.

 

HQ-2002-6001

          

 

Nextel

 

EPCRA-HQ-2002-6001, CWA-HQ-2002-6001, CAA-HQ-2002-6001, RCRA-HQ-2002-6001

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA, RCRA, CWA, and CAA at 75 facilities in 22 states.  Final order signed 4/8/03.

 

HQ-2005-8000
          

 

Cellco Partnership dba as Verizon Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-2005-8000

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA at 431 facilities in 24 states.  Final order signed 3/8/06.

 

HQ-2006-6004

 

Adelphia Communications Corp

 

02-41729 (REG)

 

Settlement Agreement filed in Bankruptcy Court resolved violations of EPCRA, CWA, and CAA at 110 facilities in 12 states.  Final order signed 7/24/06.

 

HQ-2007-6001

 

American Tower Corporation

 

EPCRA-HQ-2007-6001

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA at 231 facilities in 41states.  Final Order signed 11/3/08.

 

HQ-2008-8001

 

Windstream Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-2008-8001, CWA-HQ-2008-8001

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA and CWA at 48 facilities in 4 states.  Final Order signed 11/3/08.

 

HQ-2009-8003

 

ALLTEL (acquisition of Western Wireless, Southern Illinois Cellular Corp., and VA Cellular)

 

EPCRA-HQ-2009-8003

 

NOD resolved violations of EPCRA, CAA, and CWA at 58 facilities in 15 states.  NOD signed on 1/9/09.

 

HQ-2008-8002

 

Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-2008-8002,
CWA-HQ-2008-8002, CAA-HQ-2008-8002

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA, CWA, and CAA violations at 655 facilities in 42 states.  Final Order signed 11/23/09.

 

HQ-2011-8000

 

Via West, Inc.

 

EPCRA-HQ-2011-8000

 

NOD resolved violations of EPCRA, and CAA violations at 12 facilities in 5 states.  NOD signed 1/17/11.

 

HQ-2012-8000

 

Sidera Networks

 

EPCRA-HQ-2012-8000

 

NOD resolved violations of EPCRA at 7 facilities in 5 states.  NOD signed 10/11/11.

 

HQ-2007-6000

 

Cingular Wireless

 

EPCRA-HQ-2007-6000

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA at 642 facilities in 35 states and PR.  Final Order signed 2/9/12.

 

HQ-1999-6006

 

MCI WorldCom

 

EPCRA-HQ-99-007
CWA-HQ-99-005
CAA-HQ-99-001/S

 

CAFO resolved violations of EPCRA, CWA, and CAA at 153 facilities in 29 states and DC.  Final Order signed 3/7/00. Stipulated penalties for EPCRA violations at 107 facilities requested in May and June 2000.  

 

HQ-2000-6004

 

ALLTEL Corporation

 

4-03 CV-8752WRW

 

CD resolved violations of EPCRA, CWA, and CAA at 196 facilities in 18 states.  CD entered 12/16/03.

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Compliance Assistance | Compliance Monitoring | Compliance Incentives

 


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