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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results FY2008:
Land Enforcement Case Highlights

Civil Enforcement Cases || Criminal Enforcement Cases

EPA's enforcement program protects human health and the environment. Environmental laws achieve protection by preventing the improper management and release of regulated substances and hazardous waste and requiring those responsible for a hazardous waste site to either clean up or reimburse EPA for its cleanup. Under EPA's preventative programs, the agency utilizes a regulatory framework to protect human health and the environment. Compliance with the requirements and enforcement where there is a failure to comply are both essential. EPA pursues liability for violations which promote the cleanup and sustainable reuse and redevelopment of land.

Civil Enforcement Cases

Criminal Enforcement Cases


Civil Enforcement Cases

Superfund

The Superfund statute (officially the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, "CERCLA") provides EPA with multiple authorities to achieve cleanup and receive payment for cleanup at Superfund hazardous waste sites. EPA ensures that viable parties responsible for contamination conduct or pay for cleanup of these sites. [More Information]

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Beede Waste Oil Site

A settlement entered into with the United States resolved the liability of 95 parties and provided for site-wide cleanup of the Beede Waste Oil Site located in a residential Plaistow, New Hampshire neighborhood that is served entirely by private drinking water supply wells. Under the terms of the settlement, 28 major parties agree to perform the remedy at an estimated cost of $48 million. In addition, the United States will recover $16.75 million in past costs, interim and future costs, and oversight costs. Combined with the four previous settlements, this decree marks a major milestone at Beede, guaranteeing full cleanup of the Site, and resulting in EPA settlement with a total of 1,265 de minimis generator parties. In addition, four major federal potentially responsible parties have agreed to settle their share of liability. [More Information]

Lower Passaic River Study Area of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site

EPA entered into a settlement agreement and Administrative Order on Consent with Occidental Chemical Corporation and Tierra Solutions Inc. to cleanup contaminated sediments from the Lower Passaic River near Newark, New Jersey. This removal action is part of the Lower Passaic River Study Area portion of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site. The cleanup will consist of the removal of up to 200,000 cubic yards of dioxin-laden soil. The removal action will be performed in two phases, with reimbursement for EPA's costs of overseeing the removal. The estimated cost of the cleanup is $80 million which Occidental Chemical and Tierra Solutions will place in a trust fund that will be paid over to EPA should the Agency to take over the work. [More Information]

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Dana Corporation Bankruptcy

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a settlement between the United States and Dana Holding Corporation. The settlement resolves EPA's bankruptcy claims against Dana Corporation and its subsidiaries for Dana's share of response costs at six Superfund sites in EPA Regions 1, 2, 5, and 7, and for Clean Water Act and Superfund civil penalties at two Dana facilities in Region 5. The EPA allowed claim amount in the settlement is $122,550,252 for these sites and facilities. A large percentage of this amount is for two Superfund sites currently undergoing extensive cleanups: $97,590,000 for the Cornell Dubilier Electronics Superfund Site in New Jersey; and $28,685,250 for the Hastings Superfund Site in Nebraska. The settlement also includes an allowed claim for the federal Natural Resource Trustees of $3,120,000 for natural resource damages at the Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site.

Jacksonville Ash & Browns Dump Sites

The City of Jacksonville, Florida will undertake the cleanup of two sister sites in Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Ash Superfund Site and the Brown's Dump Superfund Site. When completed, the sites will result in the cleanup of approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of heavy metal-contaminated soil, at a cost of approximately $94 million. Both sites were contaminated in the 1940s and 1950s by a municipal incinerator, and are located in heavily populated residential neighborhoods.

American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company Inc. (AISLIC)

The American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company, Inc. (AISLIC) agreed to pay $42.5 million to clean up contamination at four industrial facilities formerly owned by Fruit of the Loom.

Fruit of the Loom filed for bankruptcy in 1999 and the court set up two trusts to receive and distribute the company's remaining assets, including its environmental insurance policies. The trusts subsequently tried to collect environmental cleanup costs from AISLIC, a member company of AIG Insurance, under the insurance policy which covered response costs and natural resource damages under Superfund. AISLIC denied coverage and then brought a suit seeking to confirm that it was not obligated to pay the trusts for these costs. In 2006, the United States successfully moved to intervene in this private party insurance dispute. Under the settlement agreement, AISLIC made an initial $30 million payment plus interest calculated from May 15, 2007, and ten annual payments of $1.25 million to the Fruit of the Loom trusts. The money will be used for site cleanups at four facilities located in Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee. [More Information]

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Hastings Ground Water Contamination (North Landfill) Superfund Site

Under a settlement agreement entered in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, defendants will perform cleanup of ground water contamination at the North Landfill Subsite in Hastings, Nebraska, which is one of seven subsites that are part of the Hastings Ground Water Contamination Superfund Site. The volume of contaminated media to be addressed in this settlement is approximately 49.5 million cubic yards. The contaminants of concern are trichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. Under the settlement, the United States will also receive payments for past and future response costs for the North Landfill Subsite. [More Information]

Libby Asbestos Site

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware entered a settlement agreement whereby W.R. Grace & Co, $250 million for past and future costs of cleanup of asbestos contamination in Libby, Montana. The action settles a bankruptcy claim brought by the federal government to recover money for past and future costs of cleanup of contaminated schools, homes and businesses in Libby. This settlement is the largest amount of money paid as reimbursement for a Superfund cleanup to date. W.R. Grace owned and operated a vermiculite mine and vermiculite processing facilities in and near Libby from 1963 to 1990. The vermiculite ore was contaminated with asbestos. Vermiculite and asbestos have been found in various locations in and around Libby. [More Information]

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Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the generation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste to ensure its safe management from the time it is generated until its ultimate disposal, that is, "cradle to grave." Among other things, the statute prohibits the storage of hazardous waste unless an owner or operator of a hazardous waste storage facility obtains a permit pursuant to the implementing regulations.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Leed Foundry, Inc.

Leed Foundry Inc. must pay a $25,000 penalty to settle alleged violations related to hazardous waste management and storm water discharges at its foundry in St. Clair, Pennsylvania. EPA cited the company for improper storage of its baghouse dust, which contained toxic concentrations of lead and cadmium. This dust is generated by furnace operations at the foundry, which manufactures grey iron castings such as storm sewer gratings and manhole covers. Approximately 514 tons of the dust removed from the baghouse -- an air pollution control device -- was stored in an out door pile. This agreement requires the company to submit a cleanup plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the former storage area of the toxic baghouse dust and submit a revised Preparedness, Prevention, and Contingency plan including the monitoring of flow and constituents related to the facility's Clean Water Act storm water discharge permit. Leed Foundry is also treating the baghouse dust to prevent it from exceeding RCRA's toxicity standards. [More Information]

Apex Oil Company

Apex Oil Company was held liable under Section 7003 of RCRA for contamination at the Hartford Refinery, located in the Village of Hartford, Illinois. A federal court in Illinois ordered Apex to participate in the ongoing cleanup at the site to address an imminent hazard to the Village of Hartford's public waterwells. The estimated cost to clean up the contamination is at least $150 million. The oil refinery, in operation since 1941, included pipelines to transport gasoline and heavy oils. By the 1970's evidence showed that a hydrocarbon pool had accumulated under the Village of Hartford and oil was discovered in the Mississippi River near sewage drains. Evidence indicated the pipeline leaks persisted until EPA took responsibility for the site in 2003.

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Federal Facilities

Superfund Enforcement at Federal Facilities
RCRA Enforcement at Federal Facilities

Superfund Enforcement at Federal Facilities

There are over 150 final federal facility sites on Superfund's National Priority List. Superfund requires EPA and the federal agency that owns or operates sites on this list to enter into enforceable agreements governing the cleanup and laying out each party's responsibilities. EPA has agreements in place at most of these sites and continues to enter agreements at the remaining sites.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Vieques and Curtis Bay

EPA, the US Navy, the US Department of the Interior and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico finalized an agreement for the clean up of a former military site on the island of Vieques off the east coast of Puerto Rico. [More Information]

EPA and the US Coast Guard also completed an agreement governing the cleanup of the Coast Guard’s Curtis Bay facility in Baltimore, Maryland. [More Information]

Columbia River Hanford Site

When EPA finds that a facility is not complying with its obligations under cleanup agreements, it takes action to address those violations. In 2008, EPA took two enforcement actions against the Department of Energy for failure to perform agreed upon cleanup work at its Hanford site adjacent to the Columbia River in Washington state. In settling one of the actions, the Department of Energy agreed to pay a $285,000 penalty, purchase two emergency response boats for the local sheriff's office to respond to any hazardous material spills (estimated cost of over $200,000), and to construct a greenhouse and nursery at a nearby campus of Washington State University to grow native vegetation to use in rehabilitating habitat at the Hanford facility (estimated cost over $600,000) [More Information]. The Department of Energy agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty for missing cleanup deadlines at one cleanup area within the site.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

EPA signed a Record of Decision outlining a cleanup with the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Site 300 located near Livermore, California. The Record of Decision resulted from work done under a prior enforceable agreement agreed to by the Department of Energy, EPA and the State of California.

The site is listed on the CERCLA National Priorities List. It is primarily a high-explosives test facility supporting the Laboratory's weapons research, development, and testing programs. During past operations, a number of contaminants were released to the environment including trichloroethylene and other volatile organic compounds, high explosive compounds, perchlorate, tritium, uranium, nitrate, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin and furan compounds, silicone oils, and metals. The groundwater clean-up will treat over 36 million cubic yards. The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory cleanup is estimated to cost $626 million.

Fort Ord

EPA signed two cleanup Records of Decision with the U.S. Army at the former Fort Ord, California, located 80 miles south of San Francisco and made up of approximately 28,000 acres of land next to Monterey Bay. The Department of Defense retained a portion of former Fort Ord while the remaining property is being transferred to other federal, state, and local government agencies and other organizations. The Records of Decision resulted from work done under an enforceable agreement agreed to years ago by the U.S. Army, EPA and the State of California. The cleanups are estimated to cost over $150 million.

The first Record of Decision addresses munitions and explosives at Fort Ord. The second Record of Decision addresses groundwater that contains dilute concentrations of carbon tetrachloride and other volatile organic compounds.

Brunswick Naval Air Station

The EPA Administrator resolved a dispute with the Navy over stipulated penalties assessed by EPA Region 1 under a 1990 Federal Facility Agreement for the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, a site named on the national priority list of most contaminated sites. This affirmed the EPA Regional Administrator's decision finding that the Navy failed to monitor wells as required in long-term monitoring plans for the site. It was also found that "a remedy … is only protective if contamination that is left on site is adequately monitored." EPA and the Navy agreed in the Federal Facility Agreement to stipulate to the amount of penalties to be assessed for violations. The Administrator set the final penalty at $153,000.

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RCRA Enforcement at Federal Facilities

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. The law establishes a system for controlling hazardous waste from the time it is generated until its ultimate disposal. Facilities that generate, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste are regulated under RCRA. RCRA also mandates when action is needed to clean up contamination at a facility.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

US Naval Submarine Base

Under a settlement with EPA, the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut, agreed to pay $37,059 in penalties, and undertake a $114,000 project to address improper storage and management of hazardous wastes. The Base will install solar-powered air conditioning in a storage bay where ignitable hazardous wastes are stored within the Base's permitted hazardous waste treatment and storage facility. With summertime temperatures documented during the inspection peaking at about 95 degrees, the main storage building lacked adequate ventilation to ensure that flammable materials were stored at a safe temperature and that employees could work under safe conditions. The new air conditioner will help ensure worker safety, and protect the environment. [More Information]

California Veterans Affairs Hospital

The Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System agreed to make changes to its operations and pay a $32,000 fine for violations of hazardous violations at its Palo Alto, California teaching hospital. The violations were discovered in a routine inspection in 2007 conducted by EPA and the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. Shortly after the inspection, the hospital addressed all the violations and came into compliance. The hospital has instituted a new tracking system for managing pharmaceutical waste. [More Information]

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Criminal Enforcement

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Hazardous Waste Storage and Disposal

Dennie Pridemore

Dennie Pridemore, operator of Hydromex, was sentenced to 41 months in prison and three years probation after pleading guilty to six counts of illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste contaminated with the heavy metals, cadmium, chromium and lead at a sham hazardous waste recycling facility called Hydromex, Inc., in Yazoo City, Mississippi and making false statements to state and federal regulatory officials and investigators in an effort to conceal his crimes. The wastes leached into the surrounding soil and groundwater. [More Information]

Northwestern Plating

David Jacobs, the owner of Northwestern Plating Works in Illinois, a former metal finishing business, was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of improperly storing and disposing of hazardous wastes and one count of embezzling more than $830,000 from an employee pension plan. Northwestern Plating Works used cyanides, acid, corrosives, brass, copper, zinc and nickel in its electroplating processes. Jacobs was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service, pay $832,890.84 in restitution to victims of the pension fraud, $1,259,695.19 in restitution to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for superfund cleanup costs, and three years probation. [More Information]

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Krister Evertson

Krister Evertson, the former owner and president of the now defunct SBH Corporation was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $421,049 in restitution for superfund cleanup. He was convicted by a federal jury of violating the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act, illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste and violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Evertson transported 10 metric tons of sodium metal from its port of entry at the Seattle-Tacoma Port Complex to Salmon, Idaho, where he used some of the sodium in an effort to manufacture sodium borohydride. Everston arranged for the transportation of the sodium metal not used in the manufacturing process and he failed to take protective measures to reduce the risk that the transported material would react and damage persons or property. [More Information]

John Charles Mazoch

John Charles Mazoch, President of Coastal Welding Company pleaded guilty to the felony offense of conspiring with others to store, transport, and dispose of hazardous wastes without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and was sentenced to serving 8 months in federal prison, pay a $500,000 fine and over $700,000 in restitution to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. Mazoch must also serve eight months of home confinement and three years supervised release once he is released from prison. [More Information]

MRS Plating

Ronald Jagielo, owner of MRS Plating, Lockport, New York, pled guilty to a felony violation of the RCRA for disposal of hazardous wastes without a permit. These wastes included cadmium, chromium and corrosive liquids. Jagielo was sentenced to serve 21 months incarceration, pay the EPA $1 million in restitution and serve three years of supervised release for his felony violation of the RCRA. Additionally, this was the second felony conviction for Jagielo, who served a year in prison in 2000 after pleading guilty for illegally discharging wastes into the Lockport water treatment system where he had installed a device that hid the discharges from inspectors. [More Information]

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