2008 Region 3 Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results

Photo of muddy stream

EPA's Mid-Atlantic enforcement program achieved very good results to protect the region's air, water, and land in fiscal year 2008.  Industries, government agencies and other regulated entities agreed to spend more than $3.4 billion in pollution controls and environmental projects. "Our regional efforts to enforce the nation's environmental protection laws are impressive, especially when you consider the innovative settlements we've achieved," said Donald S. Welsh, Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator.

 

Regional Highlights

The mid-Atlantic enforcement program is achieving environmental and public health benefits through small-scale and larger settlements.

Some trailblazing cases include:

Maryland is the first state in the nation to sign an EPA agreement to self-police its environmental compliance.  Maryland Department of Transportation's Self-Audit agreement solidifies Maryland's goal of having its transportation facilities state-wide achieve full environmental compliance. Maryland transportation agencies will have 168 of their facilities, including the airport, highways and port in the state, undergo thorough environmental checks.  The transportation agencies will conduct their own environmental assessments and disclose violations they may find.

As part of an innovative settlement agreement between EPA and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), will more than $1 million will be spent on a wind energy project.  SEPTA agreed to pay a cash penalty of $169,527 and purchase 152 million kilowatt hours of clean energy (in place of conventionally generated energy) over the next two years.  The agreement settles alleged violations of hazardous waste and underground storage tank regulations at nine SEPTA facilities. 

The U.S. Department of Justice, EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and Merck & Co., Inc. signed one of the most comprehensive remediation settlement agreements in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. To settle Clean Water Act violations related to a June 2006 fish kill in the Wissahickon Creek near Philadelphia, Merck will pay $10 million to prevent future dangerous discharges at its facility. Merck also agree to spend about $9 million for extensive environmental projects to enhance local drinking water protection and take actions for restoring the environmental quality of the Wissahickon Creek.

On-the-ground actions will gain impressive results:

In a landmark settlement with federal, state, and county authorities, the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) agreed to a comprehensive plan to greatly reduce the annual discharge of billions of gallons of untreated sewage into local waterways. Under the proposed consent decree, ALCOSAN agreed to a multi-year strategy to upgrade the sewage systems serving Pittsburgh and 82 surrounding municipalities.  The settlement also requires ALCOSAN to pay a $1.2 million penalty for past Clean Water Act violations, and to undertake $3 million in environmental projects. The agreement will reduce the amount of untreated sewage being discharged into local rivers by more than 22 billion gallons per year.

The national settlement with American Electric Power will have an unprecedented impact on air quality in the eastern United States, which in the mid-Atlantic region will primarily affect Pennsylvania.  EPA and DOJ's largest single environmental settlement in history will result in national pollutant reductions saving $32 billion in health costs annually.  American Electric Power agreed to cut 813,000 tons of air pollutants annually at an estimated cost of more than $4.6 billion, pay a $15 million penalty, and spend $60 million on projects to mitigate the adverse effects of its past excess emissions from sources such as power plants and factories.

"Our regional efforts to enforce the nation's environmental protection laws are impressive, especially when you consider the innovative settlements we've achieved," said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional Administrator.

A national case with mining industry's Massey Energy brought the largest civil penalty in EPA's history against a company for wastewater discharge permit violations.  Massey Energy Company Inc. will pay a $20 million civil penalty in a corporate-wide settlement to resolve Clean Water Act violations at coal mines in West Virginia and Kentucky.

In a long fight for wetlands protection, the U.S. Department of Justice, and EPA settled with six defendants including Sea Bay Development Corp., Beechtree Park, Inc., and Green Sea Farms for alleged wetland violations in a case that began in 1999 over one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land - - 1, 560 areas - - in Chesapeake, Va.  In addition to $100,000 in penalties, approximately half the land, a large area of 873 acres of non-tidal wetlands, will be restored and preserved in perpetuity under a conservation easement.

As a part of EPA's national enforcement efforts to reduce air toxics, EPA investigated Celanese Acetate, L.L.C., a manufacturer of acetate products in Narrows, Va.  EPA found Clean Air Act violations and cited the company for problems related to the monitoring and repairing of equipment at the facility.  To resolve alleged violations, Celanese will pay $60,000.  Since these violations were found, Celanese has increased its efforts to monitor and detect for leaks of hazardous air pollutants. 

A long-sought resolution to a Clean Air Act case that began with a full compliance inspection in 2003 was settled by EPA and Sunoco, Inc. (R&M) for $200,000 for past clean air violations at Sunoco's chemical manufacturing facility in located in Philadelphia's Frankford section.  EPA's inspection and subsequent document reviews focused on the plant’s Clean Air Act permit and national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants, including regulations of benzene waste and hazardous organic compounds. 

Small-but-fierce cases collectively get results:

Many cases that seem relatively small are gaining significant results cumulatively.  These cases include more than 130 adminstrative orders issued by the regional drinking water and underground injection control programs this year alone.  Within four months, more than 43 of the facilities - - two-thirds of the total - - returned to compliance.  Most orders went to systems in Pennsylvania and Maryland to implement sampling plans for monitoring for either E.Coli or total trihalomethanes.  EPA took these enforcement actions because either the state had not adopted the program or did not have adequate resources to implement the new rules.  EPA also issued orders with penalties for failure to comply with existing permits.

EPA's inspections are the result of tips, targeting, and national priorities for enforcement. Regionally, EPA conducted 3,000 environmental inspections.  EPA also trains state inspectors who conduct double or triple the number of EPA inspections in their states.  To understand the value of having the inspector walk in the door of a facility, in 473 instances minor infractions were immediately corrected.  These fixes include putting a proper label on a hazardous waste container to tightening up a slowly dripping spigot.

During this fiscal year, we had a robust federal facility enforcement program which included 15 administrative settlements with federal facilities in the mid-Atlantic region in response to underground storage tank violations (UST).  Settlements ranged from $450 to $94,374, which compared too many environmental cases is relatively small.  However, looking at these cases collectively amounts to $304,743 in cash penalties and compliance at 15 federal facilities.  The UST requirements violated at these facilities are designed to both prevent releases of petroleum products from underground storage tanks, and to quickly detect them, in the event that releases occur.

To help the District of Columbia with their compliance monitoring and enforcement workload as the District works to more fully establish their new organization (DDOE), EPA has invested considerably in underground storage tank (UST) inspections and enforcement in DC.  As a result of our efforts, in FY08 we reached 39 administrative settlements, for a total of $464,796 in cash penalties.  These penalties range from $150 to $80,000, and address violations of the UST regulations which are designed to both prevent releases of petroleum products from underground storage tanks, and quickly detect them, in the event that releases occur.

 

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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results
Numbers at a Glance
Region 3

Results Obtained from EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Direct Estimated Environmental Benefits  
  Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1) 927,347,633
  Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2) 33,471,300
  Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards) 577,306
  Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards) 9,938,251
  Stream Miles (Linear Feet) 5,015
  Wetlands Protected (Acres) 891
  People Protected by Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement (# of people) 410,309
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) $3,434,583,554
Investments in Environmentally Beneficial Projects (SEPs) $9,736,574
Civil Penalties  
  Administrative Penalties $7,806,089
  Judicial Penalties $21,887,523
  Stipulated Penalties $222,350
   
EPA Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to Department of Justice (DOJ) 35
Supplemental Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to DOJ 4
Civil Judicial Complaints Filed with Court 19
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 24
Administrative Penalty Order Complaints 186
Final Administrative Penalty Order Settlements 193
Administrative Compliance Orders 160
Cases with SEPs 14
   
EPA Compliance Monitoring Activities
Inspections/Evaluations 2,933
Civil Investigations 12
Number of Regulated Entities Taking Complying Actions during EPA Inspections/Evaluations 478
Number of Regulated Entities Receiving Assistance during EPA Inspections/Evaluations 2836
 
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 cashouts) $34.3M
Private Party Commitments for Cost Recovery $10.1M
% 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) 75,977
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Facilities) 131
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Facilities) 103
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Companies) 45
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Companies) 42
Notices of Determination (NODs) 35
   
EPA Compliance Assistance
Total Entities Reached by Compliance Assistance 2488

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.

Region 3, District of Columbia

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)
0
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
0
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
52
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
0
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 1,394,106
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 0
Civil Penalties Assessed 3,664,787
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 2
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 42
Administrative Compliance Orders 0

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Region 3, Delaware

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)
11,000
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
60,000
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
0
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
8,977,000
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 989.989
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 250,000
Civil Penalties Assessed 449,184
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 2
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 11
Administrative Compliance Orders 3

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Region 3, Maryland

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)
37,712,158
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
28,080,000
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
464
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
12,960
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 10,031,591
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 275,971
Civil Penalties Assessed 4,164,902
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 1
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 53
Administrative Compliance Orders 25

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Region 3, Pennsylvania

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)
168,091,556
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
1,031,300
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
404,710
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
945,591
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 1,450,296,222
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 8,750,956
Civil Penalties Assessed 3,154,114
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 12
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 60
Administrative Compliance Orders 113

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Region 3, Virginia

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)
749,844,127
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
0
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
171,860
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
2700
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 1,985,733,468
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 157,582
Civil Penalties Assessed 24,501,943
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 6
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 22
Administrative Compliance Orders 10

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Region 3, West Virginia

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)
674,933,518
  • Hazardous Waste Treated or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1) (2)
4,300,000
  • Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
220
  • Contaminated Water to be Cleaned (Cubic Yards)
0
Investments in Pollution Control and Clean-up (Injunctive Relief) 1,931,852,503
Investments in Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) 302,065
Civil Penalties Assessed 19,951.618
Counts of EPA Civil Enforcement Actions
Civil Judicial Conclusions 3
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 12
Administrative Compliance Orders 8

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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.

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Federal Case Highlights Presented State-by-state


 

U.S. Announces Largest Single Environmental Settlement in History -
Historic pollutant reductions will save $32 billion in health costs annually

Release date: 10/09/2007
(Washington, D.C. - Oct. 9, 2007) American Electric Power has agreed to cut 813,000 tons of air pollutants annually at an estimated cost of more than $4.6 billion, pay a $15 million penalty, and spend $60 million on projects to mitigate the adverse effects of its past excess emissions. The record settlement was announced today by the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Massey Energy to Pay Largest Civil Penalty Ever for Water Permit Violations
Release date: 01/17/2008


Maryland pledges its highways, airport and port will be green
Release date: 10/01/2008
PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 1, 2008) - - Maryland transportation agencies are kicking it up a notch as they signed an agreement today to have 168 of their transportation facilities, including the airport, highways and port in the state, undergo thorough environmental checks. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreement, the state agencies will conduct their own environmental assessments and disclose violations they may find.


Sunoco and EPA Settle Alleged Clean Air Act Violations at Philadelphia Facility
Release date: 07/08/2008
(PHILADELPHIA, July 8, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Sunoco, Inc. (R&M) have agreed to a $200,000 settlement for past clean air violations at Sunoco's chemical manufacturing facility in Philadelphia. This facility is located at Margaret and Bermuda streets in Philadelphia’s Frankford section.

EPA and SEPTA Settle Hazardous Waste Violations
Release date: 10/06/2008
PHILADELPHIA (October 6, 2008) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) have settled alleged violations of hazardous waste and underground storage tank regulations at nine SEPTA facilities.

Merck Settles Clean Water Act Violations Related to June 2006 Fish Kills in Wissahickon Creek
Release date: 12/13/2007
PHILADELPHIA (December 13, 2007) U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, today, announce a settlement with Merck in a federal-state lawsuit over violations of federal and state water pollution control regulations at its Pharmaceutical plant. On June 13, 2006 Merck discharged potassium thiocyanate causing extensive fish kills in the Wissahickon Creek on June 14th and 15th and also resulting in the Philadelphia Water Department temporarily closing its Schuylkill River drinking water intake.

Landmark settlement aims to clean up raw sewage discharges in Allegheny County
Release date: 05/31/2007
PITTSBURGH (May 31, 2007) -- In a landmark settlement with federal, state, and county authorities, the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) has agreed to a comprehensive plan to greatly reduce the annual discharge of billions of gallons of untreated sewage into local waterways.


EPA and Virginia Company Settle Clean Air Act Violations
Release date: 07/23/2008

(PHILADELPHIA, July 23, 2008) Celanese Acetate, L.L.C., a manufacturer of acetate products in Narrows, Va., will pay $60,000 to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited the company for problems related to the monitoring and repairing of equipment at Celanese's Celco plant located at 3520 Virginia Ave. in Narrows.

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