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2008 Region 2 Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results

Using a full range of compliance and enforcement strategies and tools, EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, continued to bring more and more facilities into compliance with the laws that protect the environment and public health environment in fiscal year 2008, which ran from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008.

The results of our compliance and enforcement efforts are presented below.

 

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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results
Numbers at a Glance

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Estimated Environmental Benefit Commitments:  
  Direct Environmental Benefits  
 
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
112,099,362
 
  • Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (pounds) (1)  (2)
511,493,181
 
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
10,890,016
 
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
12,354
 
  • Stream Miles Protected (Linear Feet)
1,971
 
  • Wetlands Protected (Acres)
1,003
 
  • People Protected by Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement (# of People)
64,314
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $280,246,948
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $6,013,943
Civil Penalties Assessed  
  Administrative Penalties Assessed $3,904,332
  Judicial Penalties Assessed $3,289,399
  Stipulated Penalties Assessed $2,599,953
   
EPA Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to Department of Justice (DOJ) 32
Supplemental Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to DOJ 5
Civil Judicial Complaints Filed with Court 21
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 22
Administrative Penalty Order Complaints 248
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 267
Administrative Compliance Orders 245
Cases with SEPs 21
   
EPA Compliance Monitoring Activities
Inspections/Evaluations 2,780
Civil Investigations 19
Number of Regulated Entities Taking Complying Actions during EPA Inspections/Evaluations 155
Number of Regulated Entities Receiving Assistance during EPA Inspections/Evaluations 1,955
Inspections Conducted by Tribal Inspectors Using Federal Credentials (3) 0
 
EPA Superfund Cleanup Enforcement
% of non-Federal Superfund Sites with Viable, Liable Parties where an Enforcement Action was taken Prior to the Start of the Remedial Action 100%
Private Party Commitments for Site Study and Cleanup (including cash outs) $225,600,000
Private Party Commitments for Cost Recovery $26,101,956
% of Cost Recovery Cases Greater than or Equal to $200,000 that were Addressed before the Statute of Limitations Expired 100%
   
EPA Voluntary Disclosure Program
Estimated Pollution Reduction Commitments Obtained as a Result of Voluntary Disclosures (Pounds) 66,000
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Facilities) 134
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Facilities) 92
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Companies) 68
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Companies) 70
Notice of Determination (NODs) 61
   
EPA Compliance Assistance
Total Entities Reached by Compliance Assistance 63,600

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 11, 2008.

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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.

New Jersey

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Direct Environmental Benefits (Including benefits from Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs)):  
  • Estimated Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
30,992,781
  • Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (pounds) (1)  (2)
11,888
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
250,628
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
0
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $115,078,338
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $849,879
Civil Penalties Assesssed $1,041,498
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 6
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 40
Administrative Compliance Orders 26

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New York

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Direct Environmental Benefits (Including benefits from Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs)):  
  • Estimated Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
2,449,620
  • Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (pounds) (1)  (2)
175,371
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
134,315
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
12,344
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $69,133,594
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $1,769,815
Civil Penalties Assesssed $3,365,601
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 14
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 161
Administrative Compliance Orders 64

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Puerto Rico

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Direct Environmental Benefits (Including benefits from Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs)):  
  • Estimated Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
78,656,691
  • Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (pounds) (1)  (2)
511,191,353
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
10,401,530
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
0
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $92,604,319
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $3,244,249
Civil Penalties Assesssed $2,544,800
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 1
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 56
Administrative Compliance Orders 101

 

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U.S. Virgin Islands

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Direct Environmental Benefits (Including benefits from Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs)):  
  • Estimated Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
271
  • Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (pounds) (1)  (2)
114,569
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
103,543
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
10
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $3,079,911
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $150,000
Civil Penalties Assesssed $165,511
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 1
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 10
Administrative Compliance Orders 54

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.

(2) In FY 2008, for the first time, OECA is piloting a new Environmental Benefits outcome reporting category to count pounds of “Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed Of “ from enforcement cases.  OECA has determined that none of the previously established outcome categories are appropriate for counting the environmental benefits obtained from EPA’s hazardous waste cases.   For FY 2008, this new pilot category includes only results from RCRA cases, but, in the future, similar results obtained from enforcement actions under other statutes, particularly CERCLA, may also be included.

(3) In FY 2008, for the first time, OECA is creating a separate reporting category to count the number of tribal inspections conducted by tribal inspections using federal credentials.  Inspections conducted by tribal inspectors using federal credentials are done "on behalf' of the Agency, but are not an EPA activity.

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Federal Case Highlights Presented State-by-state

New Jersey

Occidental Chemical Corporation and Tierra Solutions (Diamond Alkali Superfund Site)

EPA, Occidental Chemical and Tierra Solutions entered into a settlement agreement on June 23, 2008 requiring the two companies to remove 200,000 cubic yards of dioxin-laden material near the Diamond Alkali Superfund site in Newark, N.J., some 3.5 miles from the mouth of the Passaic River. This is the most significant removal of contaminated material from the Passaic River to date, removing nearly half of the dioxin in the river’s sediment.
 
The removal will cost an estimated $80 million. EPA will review and approve all work plans, which will contain specific details of the work, and will oversee the entire operation. EPA developed this agreement in close cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The cleanup will be conducted in two phases. In both phases, sediment will be removed from the river in a semi-dry state, which will ensure that sediment is not stirred up and dispersed into the river. Clean fill will be placed over excavated areas. All aspects of the work, including monitoring requirements, engineering controls, and oversight, will be spelled out in the work plans to ensure the work is done safely, effectively and with minimal impacts to surrounding communities. EPA will work closely with stakeholders throughout the design and construction of the project.

Lonza, Inc.

In March 2007, EPA charged Lonza, Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of hospital disinfectants, with making inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of certain products against microbial pests. As a result, Lonza agreed on June 27, 2008, as part of its settlement with EPA, to develop and implement an unprecedented, nationwide quality assurance program to ensure the quality and efficacy of the disinfectant products sold to hospitals.

Before any pesticide is sold in the country, it must go through EPA’s rigorous registration process and its producer must ensure that its product lives up to its claims. Some of the hospital disinfectant products that Lonza sold with inaccurate labeling included Formula 158 Lemon Disinfectant, Fresh and Clean, and REV. Formula 158 Lemon Disinfectant and Fresh and Clean did not kill Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and REV killed neither the Pseudomonas Aeruginosa nor Staphylococcus aureus, as claimed on the labels. Both pathogens can cause infections that can be serious, but are often treatable with antibiotics.

As part of its quality assurance program, Lonza will evaluate whether the companies formulating its products are doing so safely and legally, inspect production plants, interview key personnel and review required documentation. Only companies meeting the criteria of regulatory, quality assurance and manufacturing compliance will continue to formulate Lonza’s products. Lonza has until December 2009 to develop and fully implement this program. The establishment of the national quality assurance program is considered a supplemental environmental project under the settlement agreement.

New York

City of Middletown

The U.S. government and the City of Middletown, N.Y. reached a settlement on Sept. 3, 2008 regarding violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act relating to the City’s public drinking water system, which distributes water drawn from a surface water source to some 26,200 people. The city agreed to construct a water treatment facility by April 30, 2010 to filter the drinking water it draws from surface water sources.

During construction, the city must implement measures to protect the quality of its drinking water such as monitoring for contaminants of the water from surface water sources and monthly reporting of monitoring data to EPA, New York State and Orange County.

The city also agreed to pay a $50,000 civil monetary penalty to the federal government, and to spend an additional $490,000 on a supplemental environmental project to collect the backwash water from the proposed water treatment plant for recycling.

Town of Newburgh

The U.S. government filed and settled a civil lawsuit against the Town of Newburgh, N.Y. on June 30, 2008, involving violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act regarding the town’s drinking water system, which distributes unfiltered drinking water to some 23,000 people. The town agreed to construct a water treatment facility by May 1, 2013 to filter the drinking water it draws from the Delaware Aqueduct, the Town’s principal water source.

During construction, the town must implement measures to protect the quality of its drinking water. They include monitoring for contaminants of the water from the Delaware Aqueduct, monthly reporting of monitoring data to EPA, New York State and Orange County, and meeting water quality standards applicable to water systems that are not required to install treatment facilities.

The settlement requires the town to pay $100,000 in civil penalties, and to undertake three supplemental environmental projects, valued at approximately $912,000, to improve the water quality in and around the town. Specifically, the town will purchase and maintain vacant undeveloped properties around the Chadwick Lake Reservoir, an alternate drinking water source for the town, in order to protect the watershed.

The town also agreed to connect residential and commercial properties along North Carpenter Avenue and West Stone Street to Newburgh’s sanitary sewer system. This project will prevent waste in septic systems from discharging directly into the ground and running into to other water bodies in the area, such as Orange Lake and tributaries of the Hudson River. In addition, the town agreed to replace existing catch basins connected to pipes that discharge into Orange Lake with basins equipped to prevent sediment and trash from flowing into the lake.

The federal government charged in the lawsuit that between 2005 and 2007, the town’s drinking water repeatedly exceeded maximum contaminant levels for certain disinfectant byproducts, namely haloacetic acids. The government further contended that the town failed to comply with an EPA administrative order requiring the town to monitor drinking water quality and report the monitoring results to the Orange County Department of Health. The lawsuit also charged that the town had failed to provide required public notice when the town’s drinking water exceeded the maximum contaminant levels for disinfectant byproducts.

Li Tungsten Superfund Site

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved and entered three consent judgments on Oct. 29, 2007, which are expected to be the final settlements relating to the Li Tungsten Superfund Site in Glen Cove, N.Y. The settlements include one between EPA and 24 potentially responsible parties (PRPs), one between EPA and the City of Glen Cove, and a third between EPA and Wah Chang Smelting and Refining Company of America (WCSRCA). Four of the PRPs are federal agencies: the General Services Administration and the departments of Commerce, Defense, and Treasury.

The settlement with 24 PRPs has four components. First, the federal PRPs will pay $26 million, a $25 million reimbursement to EPA for response costs and $1 million for future cleanup work at the site. The second component requires two PRPs, TDY Industries and TDY Holdings, to continue performing the remainder of the remedial work at the site, estimated at $10.7 million at the time of the consent judgment’s signing. The third component requires the remaining 18 non-federal parties to reimburse EPA $3.61 million, with Nassau County, contributing an additional $125,000 for future work.

EPA will receive $28.61 million towards its past costs, and PRPs will be performing response actions estimated to cost $10.7 million. All but one of the 20 non-federal parties has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for non-compliance with an earlier EPA administrative order under the Superfund law.   

In its settlement, the City of Glen Cove will pay EPA $1.6 million for past costs, and the settlement with WCSRCA requires the company to pay us $700,000 for past costs. The city’s payment is in addition to $3.4 million that it previously paid to finance work and satisfy its liability at the site.

Puerto Rico

Toa Baja Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

On Sept. 19, 2008, EPA, the municipality of Toa Baja, P.R., and Landfill Technologies, Inc. entered into an administrative order on consent that outlines a plan to stop receiving solid waste at the main part of the Toa Baja landfill by June 2010, with steps to close the landfill to follow. This is the fifth order issued by EPA requiring a landfill in Puerto Rico to close since 2007; the other landfills are in Vega Baja, Florida, Aguadilla and Santa Isabel.

EPA also issued a unilateral order to the Puerto Rico Land Authority requiring it to share in the required work at the Toa Baja landfill. The land authority had declined to sign a consent order.

The 105-acre Toa Baja landfill was created in 1994 when landfills operated by the municipalities of Toa Baja and Bayamón merged. Toa Baja has owned the landfill since 2005, and Landfill Technologies, Inc. manages the landfill. The Puerto Rico Solid Waste Management Authority estimated that in 2003 the Toa Baja landfill accepted approximately 500,000 tons of waste, mostly household and commercial solid waste.

Ongoing inspections of the landfill found it lacking operating controls, sufficient security, leachate and stormwater discharge controls, and groundwater and explosive gas monitoring systems. The landfill also lacked a landfill gas control and collection system. The agreement to close the landfill is governed by the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Bacardi Corporation

EPA and the Bacardi Corporation reached an agreement resolving Clean Water Act violations at Bacardi’s rum manufacturing facility in Cataño, P.R., on Sept. 12, 2008. Under the agreement, a consent decree approved by the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico, Bacardi paid a $550,000 penalty, and will donate and preserve land valued at $1 million.

EPA alleged in its complaint that from March 2002 to July 2008, Bacardi failed to comply with certain pollutant limits in its permit and, in some instances, failed to report monitoring results for discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. EPA cited Bacardi for failure to meet pollutant limits for cadmium, lead, copper, oil and grease, selenium, zinc and two types of organic compounds.

In addition to the penalty, Bacardi will donate a two-acre parcel of land in the Cienega Las Cucharillas watershed, which was appraised for $1 million and abuts the San Juan Estuary, to Universidad Metropolitana, a private university in Cupey. The land comprises wetlands and upland areas, and is bordered by tidal black mangroves, trees that are vital to preserving Puerto Rico’s unique ecosystem. The land transfer is considered a supplemental environmental project under the agreement.

Additionally, Bacardi will be given two years to address stringent bacteria limits and will be required to meet interim limits for bacteria during that period. Bacardi also agreed to undertake enhanced monitoring of its discharges should it have operational problems at its treatment facilities in the future.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Government of Virgin Islands

In 2008, the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands entered into a settlement agreement with EPA to come into compliance with hazardous waste regulations and to set up facilities where the public can bring household hazardous waste. EPA had cited the Virgin Islands for improperly handling used computers that contained lead and spent mercury-containing fluorescent light bulbs at many facilities throughout its three islands.

In April 2005, EPA conducted inspections at two locations in the Virgin Islands and found a number of potential violations of the federal hazardous waste law, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. After the inspections, EPA requested that the Virgin Islands government describe and document its practices at other facilities where light bulbs and computer components were thrown away. The government’s response indicated widespread violations of hazardous waste requirements. Before the inspections, the Virgin Islands government discarded light bulbs and computers with regular trash without determining whether these wastes were hazardous and without taking steps to prevent releases of hazardous contents such as mercury and lead.

The Virgin Islands government was fined $37,195, and agreed to spend at least $150,000 to develop and implement a campaign to raise public awareness of proper household waste management and disposal practices. Under this supplemental environmental project, the Virgin Islands government will construct and operate several hazardous waste collection centers, purchase two collection trucks and four storage sheds and advertise the program.

The government will operate and maintain the collection centers for at least two years and arrange for appropriate off-island disposal or treatment of the collected hazardous waste.

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