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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results FY2008:
Water Enforcement Case Highlights

Civil Enforcement Cases || Criminal Enforcement Cases

Aging municipal sewer systems and urban storm water runoff are significant sources of pollutants contributing to impairments to our nation’s waterways. Overflows of raw sewage from both combined and separate sanitary sewer systems contribute to beach closures, shellfish bed closures, contamination of drinking water sources and other environmental and health concerns. In addition, urban storm water runoff from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) and construction sites can introduce a variety of harmful pollutants including bacteria, organic nutrients, pesticides, hydrocarbons, sediment, oil and grease into rivers, lakes and streams. Ensuring effective and enforceable solutions to these problems has been an EPA enforcement priority since 1998. In fiscal year 2008, EPA concluded numerous enforcement actions eliminating and preventing an estimated 1,534 million gallons of polluted overflows and runoff from entering surface waters and requiring parties to invest nearly $3 billion in pollution control.

Civil Enforcement Cases

Criminal Enforcement Cases


Additional Information on our National Priorities

Civil Enforcement Cases

Combined Sewer OverFlows and Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Many older municipalities’ systems depend on single-pipe “combined sewer systems” designed to convey both storm water runoff, domestic sewage and industrial waste to the treatment facility. When the capacity of combined systems is exceeded during heavy rainfall or snow melt, a mixture of storm water, household sewage and industrial wastewater overflows untreated through sewer outfalls (CSOs) into rivers and lakes. CSO systems combine sanitary (regular) sewage and stormwater runoff. These overflows may also back up through storm water drains onto streets, yards and into basements. Most municipalities depend on “sanitary sewer systems” which transport sewage and industrial wastewater to sewage treatment plants and have separate storm water collection systems. Like combined systems, sanitary sewer systems can become overwhelmed during wet weather events and experience overflows (SSOs). Both combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows can occur frequently in some municipal systems, reflecting chronic problems. Overflow can be due to deterioration with age, poor sewer system maintenance, or lack of sufficient capacity in the system to treat the wastewater, impacting waterways and resulting in backups into parks, homes and businesses and threatening public health. Sewer overflows to waterways can contain bacteria, viruses and other microbial pathogens, suspended solids, toxics, trash and other pollutants. Sewer overflows contribute to beach closings, shellfish bed closures, contamination of drinking water supplies and other environmental damage. [More Information]

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

ALCOSAN

EPA and co-plaintiffs, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County, entered into a federal civil judicial Consent Decree with ALCOSAN, the public authority managing sewers in the Pittsburgh metro area. The settlement addresses CSOs and SSOs from the ALCOSAN collection system, including 83 satellite communities. The decree requires ALCOSAN to pay civil penalties totaling $1,200,000, and to undertake SEPs valued at $3,000,000. It also requires ALCOSAN to invest over $1.4 billion over the next 20 years to develop and implement a wet weather plan to remedy CSOs and SSOs from its collection systems and to upgrade its treatment works to prevent potential harm to the health and welfare of individuals during SSO and CSO events. When completed, an estimated 144 million pounds of pollutants will be removed from the affected watersheds. [More Information]

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San Diego

EPA, together with the Surfrider Foundation, and San Diego Baykeeper, completed the last in a series of civil settlements against the City of San Diego for numerous sanitary sewer overflows, including sewage backups onto public and private property. The final Consent Decree commits the City to continue its existing program through June 2013 under judicial supervision. The total costs of system repairs and upgrades resulting from federal enforcement efforts is anticipated to reach over one billion dollars. In 2000, there was an average of one spill per day from San Diego's collection system. As a result of EPA’s enforcement actions, San Diego has reduced the number of spills by more than 75 percent and has largely eliminated large volume spills that plagued the city. [More Information]

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Oil Pollution Act

Oil spills can pose a serious threat to human health and often have a long-lasting impact on the environment. It may take years for an ecosystem to recover from damage caused by an oil or hazardous substance spill. Aquatic habitat can be affected by as little as one pint of released oil. Federal regulations require companies that handle oil products to establish and maintain spill prevention and cleanup programs.

Oil spills can significantly reduce the amount of oxygen available for fish and aquatic life. The long-term effects of spills may continue for years even if the oil spill is cleaned up in a relatively short period of time. These long term effects include the contamination of food sources and nesting habitats, the reduction of breeding animals and plants that provide future food, and the reduction of reproductive success through contamination and reduced hatchability of eggs. [More Information]

The following is a major case concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Magellan Midstream Partners, LP

EPA entered into a settlement with Magellan Midstream Partners to resolve illegal discharges of gasoline and fuel oil from Magellan pipelines in Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, and Arkansas into nearby waterways over the past ten years. Magellan agreed to pay a $5.3 million penalty for these actions. From March 1999 through May 2006, the company discharged more than 17,000 barrels of gas and fuel oil. The largest spills occurred in the Missouri River in 1999 and 2005. Most of the spills were caused by pipeline ruptures that stemmed from external corrosion, leaks, operator error and damage due to farming equipment and bulldozers. As part of the settlement, Magellan will set up a program to minimize third party damage to the pipeline system and will spend $750,000 on removing or minimizing any external threats along selected segments of its pipeline. The company will also implement system-wide changes to employee training, leak response procedures, and protocols for detecting and responding to leaks and ruptures. [More Information]

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Wastewater Discharges

The Clean Water Act wastewater permit program regulates coal mining and processing operations that discharge coal slurry, wastewater, and other excess material that are/or contain various pollutants including iron, aluminum, and manganese. EPA has taken appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with these permit limits and protection of human health and the environment.

Central Appalachia not only has abundant coal resources, it also contains one of the most biologically diverse and important temperate forests in the world. The aquatic systems in this area are essential to its diversity. The forest watersheds are critical for downstream water quality as they help retain and transform nutrients, organic matter, and sediments and deliver them in forms and quantities sufficient to aquatic life and recreational uses. In addition to their importance to the diverse plant and animal life, these watersheds are the origins of the drinking water for hundreds of downstream communities, and millions of people.

The following is a major case concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Massey Energy Corporation

EPA and Department of Justice settled the Clean Water Act civil enforcement case against Massey Energy and successfully negotiated a landmark settlement producing a civil penalty of $20 million - the largest Clean Water Act penalty for effluent violations in history, and company wide injunctive relief to reduce 380 million pounds of pollutants from the nation’s waters. Massey Energy is the fourth largest coal company in the United States and controls 2.3 billion tons, or approximately one-third, of the coal reserves in Central Appalachia. Massey owns and operates approximately 33 underground mines and 11 surface mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. This settlement requires Massey to take measures at all of its facilities to address 4,500 alleged CWA permit violations for discharging excess amounts of metals, sediment, and acid mine drainage into hundreds of rivers and streams in West Virginia and Kentucky. The settlement also requires Massey to invest approximately $10 million to develop and implement a set of procedures to prevent future violations, including implementation of an innovative electronic tracking system that allows the company to quickly address compliance problems and correct any violations of permit limits. [More Information]

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Additional Information on our National Priorities

Storm Water Discharges

The discharge of storm water runoff from construction activities (e.g., land development, road construction) can significantly impact rivers, lakes, and wetlands. During construction, soil is compacted, excavated and displaced, and vegetation is removed. These activities increase erosion and runoff, thus increasing the amount of sediment transported to receiving waters. Sediment/siltation is the second leading cause of impairment in rivers and streams, the third leading cause of impairment in lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and the leading cause of degrading wetland integrity. In addition to sediment, as storm water flows over a construction site, it can pick up other pollutants like debris, pesticides, petroleum products, chemicals, solvents, asphalts and acids which may also contribute to water quality problems.

Major settlements to date will reduce the discharge of sediment and other pollutants in storm water runoff. In 2008, over 1.3 billion pounds of sediment were reduced from discharging into waterways as a result of federal enforcement actions. [More Information]

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

National Homebuilder Settlements

EPA concluded settlements with four of the nation’s largest homebuilders to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act storm water requirements. The builders, Centex, Pulte, Richmond American Homes, and KB Homes agreed to implement company-wide compliance programs that will prevent 1.2 billion pounds of sediment from polluting our nation’s waterways each year. The company-wide compliance programs will result in increased company oversight of all construction sites and include the designation of trained and qualified storm water managers at every site, the timely identification and correction of problems, implementation of training programs, and establishment of company-wide management procedures to ensure that upper level management is paying attention to storm water compliance. In addition, the companies are required to pay civil penalties totaling $4.3 million. [More Information]

Home Depot

EPA, joined by the State of Colorado, settled a federal judicial enforcement action against Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, for violations of the Clean Water Act at 42 of its construction sites across the country. The settlement requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $1.3 million and establish a comprehensive storm water compliance program to prevent future violations and related pollution. As a result of this settlement, EPA estimates that over 9 million pounds of sediment from polluted storm water run-off will be prevented from entering our nation’s waterways annually. [More Information]

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Criminal Enforcement Cases

Wastewater/Pipeline Discharges into Waterbodies

The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, established by the Clean Water Act, regulates the amount of treated and untreated wastewater that can be discharged into the rivers, lakes, streams or other water bodies of the United States. The Act also provides for criminal sanctions, both felonies and misdemeanors, for leaks, spills, explosions or similar discharges into the waters of the United states.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

CITGO

CITGO was sentenced to pay a $13 million fine for the negligent discharge of pollutants into two rivers in Louisiana in violation of the Clean Water Act. The $13 million fine is the largest ever for a criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act. CITGO pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for negligently failing to maintain storm water tanks and failing to maintain adequate storm water storage capacity at its petroleum refinery in Sulphur, Louisiana. As a result of these failures, approximately 53,000 barrels of oil was discharged into the Indian Marais and Calcasieu Rivers following a heavy rain storm. [More Information]

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Rowan

Rowan Companies, Inc., a major oil and gas drilling company, pled guilty and paid a $7 million dollar criminal fine for three Clean Water Act felonies for discharging pollutants and garbage into the Gulf of Mexico from one of its oil rigs, and failing to notify the government of the discharges. Rowan also paid $1 million for preservation and protection projects off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. Nine supervisory employees of Rowan also pled guilty and were fined. [More Information]

British Petroleum Exploration

British Petroleum Exploration (Alaska ), Inc. pled guilty to a Clean Water Act violation relating to two pipeline leaks of crude oil, one of which was the largest spill to ever occur on the North Slope. The company paid a $12 million criminal fine, $4 million in community service payments to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $4 million in criminal restitution to the State of Alaska, and will serve three years’ probation. [More Information]

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Data Falsification/Reporting Violations

State and federal regulators rely on comprehensive and accurate reporting of pollutant data from regulated entities in order to ensure protection of the public and the environment. Individuals or companies that knowingly fail to file required reports or who falsify those reports are subject to criminal prosecution.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

Wabash Environmental Services

Derrik Hagerman, President, Wabash Environmental Technologies, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment following his conviction at trial for repeatedly filing false pollution discharge reports under the Clean Water Act. Hagerman and WABASH knowingly failed to report to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that it repeatedly violated its pollution discharge limits for Ammonia, BOD5, Copper, Zinc, and Phenol. Instead, the defendants made false statements saying that the company was in compliance with its Clean Water Act permit, thereby hiding the discharge of millions of gallons of waste water containing hazardous substances into the Wabash River over a ten month period. [More Information]

Johnson Matthey Inc.

Johnson Matthey Inc., the owner and operator of a gold and silver refining facility in Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Water Act for failing to properly report wastewater discharges at the facility. Johnson Matthey Inc. will pay a total fine of $3 million. The former plant manager and former general manager also both pleaded guilty to making false statements and were sentenced to one year probation. [More Information]

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Ocean Dumping/Marine Vessel Pollution

During the last decade, EPA, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, FBI and other components of DOJ, has undertaken an extensive initiative to protect the oceans and coastal waters of the United States from illegal dumping of waste oil, sludge, and other hazardous wastes. The initiative began with an investigation of the cruise ship industry and has extended to other commercial vessels such as cargo ships. In addition to violations of environmental legislation such as the Oil Pollution Act, companies have also been charged with U.S. Criminal Code violations such as conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

The following are major cases concluded in fiscal year 2008:

National Navigation

The National Navigation Company, based in Cairo, Egypt, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay $7.25 Million in criminal fines for 15 felony violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and making false statements to federal officials. After evidence was found of illegal dumping of waste oil during a routine inspection of one of its vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA launched a fleet-wide investigation at multiple ports in the Pacific Northwest and along the Gulf Coast. The investigation discovered that crews aboard six vessels in National Navigation’s fleet dumped thousands of gallons of waste oil, including sludge, in oceans around the world and falsified official ship records to cover up the dumping. [More Information]

Ionia Management

Repeat offender Ionia Management, a Greek company that manages a fleet of tanker vessels, was fined $4.9 million for its role in falsifying records to conceal the overboard dumping of waste oil from the M/T Kriton into international waters. Also as part of the sentence, no ships owned by Ionia Management will be permitted into U.S. ports without first installing special monitoring equipment. Ionia Management was convicted by a federal jury on 13 counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from ships, three counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of conspiracy.

Petros Renieris, the Chief Engineer of the M/T Kriton, was sentenced to two years of probation, and a $9,000 fine for his role in falsifying Oil Record Book entries to conceal overboard dumping of waste oil from the tanker ship into international waters, and his participation in subsequent efforts to impede the Coast Guard and other authorities from learning of the dumping. Edgardo Mercurio, the Second Engineer for the M/T Kriton, was sentenced to 12 months probation and a $1,000 fine for his role in falsifying Oil Record Book entries. [More Information]

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