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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results 2011 Fiscal Year

2011 Region 9 Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results

Have EPA Enforcement actions occured in my community?

EPA Region 9 serves Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau.

Overview

EPA’s mission is to protect the nation’s air, water and land from pollution that destroys the environment and endangers public health. In the Pacific Southwest, Region 9 is charged with accomplishing the Agency’s mission throughout Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and regional Tribal lands. This vast territory includes some of the fastest growing and most populous metropolitan areas of the country as well as some of those hardest hit by recent economic downturns. The area encompasses diverse geography and cultures, a rich agricultural economy, the Silicon Valley, and business and industries that range from modest family shops to recreation destinations to large oil refineries, international ports and military bases.

To ensure compliance across such a broad spectrum of regulated entities, Region 9 employs a comprehensive and robust Compliance Assurance and Enforcement program that includes targeted compliance assistance, inspections and monitoring, incentives for self-disclosure and correction of violations and enforcement. Our compliance assurance activities, along with civil and criminal enforcement to deter noncompliance, has resulted in Region 9 reaching almost 30,000 regulated entities through compliance assistance and training, completing inspections of over 960 facilities, and taking over 451 civil enforcement actions against violators in FY 2011.  We also worked in close partnership with our state, local and tribal agencies to support their efforts to enforce federal environmental regulations.

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Federal Case Highlights

  • City and County of Honolulu: EPA and the Department of Justice reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with the City and County of Honolulu to address its aging wastewater collection and treatment systems.  The agreement calls for aggressive actions to upgrade the city’s sewage system, and sets out a long term schedule for construction of secondary treatment at its Sand Island and Honolulu plants. 

  • San Joaquin Valley Biomass Power Plant Settlements: EPA reached settlements involving three biomass power plants in the San Joaquin Valley, Ampersand Chowchilla, Merced Power El Nido and Stockton CoGen.  The agreements will result in over one million pounds per year in emission reductions as well as improved monitoring and recordkeeping procedures.

  • Kettleman City Landfill / Chemical Waste Management: Chemical Waste Management, Inc. (CWM) is currently seeking to modify permit approvals for expanded management of hazardous waste and PCBs at the KHF.  Members of the community are concerned that the town’s proximity to hazardous waste landfill is affecting their health and have voiced concern over expansion of the facility.   

    As part of EPA’s efforts to address community concerns about the facility, RCRA and TSCA investigations of the Kettleman Hills facility were completed.  The TSCA investigation discovered non-compliance with PCB handling and disposal requirements. EPA settled with CWM requiring them to pay $400,000 and complete various injunctive tasks to resolve the violations totaling an estimated $600,000.  

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Accomplishments at a Glance:

Civil Cases
  Estimated pollution reduced, treated or Eliminated (Pounds)1 74,170,022
  Estimated contaminated soil and water to be cleaned up (Cubic Yard) 720,950,573
Enforcement Activities
  Case initiations 220
  Case conclusions 228

Sources for Data displayed in this document: Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Information System (CERCLIS).

Footnotes:

  1. Projected reductions to be achieved during the one year period after all actions have been completed. (return to text)

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