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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

2009 Region 6 Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results


picture of Region 6 States, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas

New Mexico Louisiana Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Annual Report

Our mission is to promote compliance with Federal environmental regulations in partnership with our States and Tribes. Our vision is to make environmental compliance commonplace and to establish a culture that promotes going beyond compliance through collaboration, innovation and partnership.

"The Environmental Protection Agency will continue to vigorously enforce our nation's environmental laws," said EPA, Region 6, Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Division Director John Blevins. "In close partnership with our State, Tribal, and local partners, Region 6 efforts continue to move us towards our ultimate goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for all communities."

In collaboration with our federal, state, and tribal partners, the EPA Region 6 compliance assurance and enforcement program made great strides in protecting the region's air, water, and land in fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009).  Industries, government agencies and other regulated entities agreed to spend more than $395 million in pollution controls, dedicate close to $12 million in environmental projects, and were assessed over $29 million in penalties and stipulated penalties.  We also reached 24,000 regulated entities though compliance assistance efforts throughout the year.  And as a result all of these efforts, we achieved an estimated 89 million pounds of pollutants reduced, and 711 million pounds of hazardous waste treated, minimized, or properly disposed. 

Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results
Numbers at a Glance
Region 6

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits - Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
  Direct Environmental Benefits
    •   Pollutants Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
89,000,000
    •   Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed of (Pounds) (1)  (2)
711,000,000
    •   Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
40,000
    •   Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
21,000
    •   Stream Miles Protected or Restored (Linear Feet)
240
    •   Wetlands Protected or Restored (Acres)
265
    •   People Protected by Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement (# of People)
280,000
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
$395,000,000
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects)
$11,700,000
Civil Penalties Assessed
  Administrative Penalties Assessed
$2,900,000
  Judicial Penalties Assessed
$20,200,000
  State/Local Judicial Penalties Assessed From Joint Federal-State/Local Enforcement Actions (3)
$426,000
  Stipulated Penalties Paid
$6,500,000
 
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to Department of Justice (DOJ)
26
Supplemental Referrals of Civil Judicial Enforcement Cases to DOJ
5
Civil Judicial Complaints Filed with Court
10
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions
11
Administrative Penalty Order Complaints
342
Final Administrative Penalty Orders
349
Administrative Compliance Orders
347
Cases with Supplemental Environmental Projects
12
 
EPA Compliance Monitoring Activities
Inspections/Evaluations
1542
Civil Investigations
66
Number of Regulated Entities Taking Complying Actions during EPA Inspections/Evaluations
66
 
Superfund Cleanup Enforcement
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Clean up Superfund Sites
$ 9,700,000
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Pay for Government Oversight of Superfund Cleanups
$ 3,800,000
Amount Committed by Liable Parties to Reimburse the Government for Money Spent Cleaning up Superfund Sites

$ 17,000,000

 
Voluntary Disclosure
Commitments to Reduce, Treat or Eliminate Pollution as a Result of Voluntary Disclosures (pounds)
5,000,000
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Facilities)
29
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Facilities)
42
Voluntary Disclosures Initiated (Companies)
27
Voluntary Disclosures Resolved (Companies)
36
 
EPA Compliance Assistance
Entities Provided with EPA Compliance Assistance (4)
24,000

Sources for Data displayed in this document: Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS), 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 13, 2009.

Footnotes:

  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 initiated 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. This measure generated by a recommendation from the General Accounting Office, requires that EPA now report on penalties assessed in judicial enforcement cases that are awarded to a state/co-plaintiff.
  4. EPA provides assistance using a variety of tools including workshops, facility visits, posting web-based information, responding to specific calls about regulations, etc.

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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.

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Region 6, Arkansas

    Civil Enforcement
    Estimated Environmental Benefits - Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
      Direct Environmental Benefits
           Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
    10,500,000
    Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
    $413,000
    Civil Penalties Assesssed
    $121,000
    Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
    Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions
    1
    Final Administrative Penalty Orders
    24
    Administrative Compliance Orders
    14

    Top of page Top of Data by State AR Federal Case Highlights

    Region 6, Louisiana

    Civil Enforcement
    Estimated Environmental Benefits - Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
      Direct Environmental Benefits
           Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
    4,400,000
           Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1)  (2)
    8,900,000
    Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
    $14,400,000
    Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects)
    $431,000
    Civil Penalties Assesssed
    $1,600,000
    Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
    Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions
    5
    Final Administrative Penalty Orders
    107
    Administrative Compliance Orders
    199

    Top of page Top of Data by State LA Federal Case Highlights

    Region 6, New Mexico

    Civil Enforcement
    Estimated Environmental Benefits - Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
      Direct Environmental Benefits
          Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
    1,300,000
           Hazardous Waste Treated, Minimized or Properly Disposed Of (Pounds) (1)  (2)
    702,000,000
          Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
    7,500
    Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
    $8,200,000
    Civil Penalties Assesssed
    $836,000
    Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
    Final Administrative Penalty Orders
    21
    Administrative Compliance Orders
    27

    Top of page Top of Data by State NM Federal Case Highlights

    Region 6, Oklahoma

    Civil Enforcement
    Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
      Direct Environmental Benefits
          Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
    19,600,000
          Contaminated Soil to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
    33,000
          Contaminated Water to be Cleaned Up (Cubic Yards)
    21,000
    Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
    $4,900,000
    Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects)
    $165,000
    Civil Penalties Assesssed
    $383,000
    Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
    Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions
    1
    Final Administrative Penalty Orders
    69
    Administrative Compliance Orders
    65

    Top of page Top of Data by State OK Federal Case Highlights

    Region 6, Texas

    Civil Enforcement
    Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
    Direct Environmental Benefits
    Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
    56,500,000
    Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief)
    $372,800,000
    Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects)
    $11,125,000
    Civil Penalties Assesssed
    $20,300,000
    Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
    Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions
    4
    Final Administrative Penalty Orders
    113
    Administrative Compliance Orders
    39

    Top of page Top of Data by State TX Federal Case Highlights

    Sources for Data displayed for Federal Data Presented State-by-State:  Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS)

    Footnotes:

    (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.

    Top of page Top of Data by State


    Federal Case Highlights Presented State-by-State

    Arkansas

    Arkansas Egg Co. was issued administrative orders for three facilities for violations of the Clean Water Act. The facilities, Blair Farm in Benton County, and Summers Farm and Appleton Farm, both in Washington County, were found to be out of compliance with their discharge permits.  EPA Region 6 and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality inspectors observed that all three facilities had used chicken litter in amounts exceeding those designated in their waste management plans. The facilities also failed to operate their liquid animal waste collection and containment systems properly.  Summers and Blair Farms were also cited for failure to dispose of dead animals appropriately and maintain their carcass incinerators.  Additionally, Appleton Farm had failed to maintain the required 35 feet setback distance from streams at waste application sites.  Combined, these orders require the facilities to implement over $75,000 in complying actions which will result in an estimated reduction of 375,000 pounds of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

    Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. was ordered to cease discharges of pollutants at two of if its oil field production and brine disposal facilities in Arkansas.  The facilities, one located in Union County and the other in Ouachita County, were discharging oil field brine to waters of the United States, in violation of the Clean Water Act.  An EPA inspector observed that pollutants, primarily oil field brine generated from oil production activities, had been recently discharged from the Union County site to wetlands immediately adjacent to Smackover Creek.  On the same date, the inspector observed pollutants recently discharged from the Ouachita County site to Ben Davis Lake.  Neither facility had permit coverage under the Clean Water Act.  EPA ordered Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to cease all discharge of pollutants from its Union County facility, remove all brine and contaminated soils from the flow path located between the facility and the wetlands, and remove brine from the wetland area north of the tank battery. EPA also ordered Arklatex Operating Company, Inc. to cease all discharge of pollutants from its Ouachita County facility, and remove all brine and contaminated soils from the flow path located between the facility and Ben Davis Lake.  These actions will result in over 3 million pounds of brine, and over 3 million pounds of contaminated soil being reduced.

    Top of page Top of Data by State

    Louisiana

    ExxonMobil has agreed to pay nearly $6.1 million in civil penalties for violating the terms of a 2005 court-approved Clean Air Act agreement. The 2005 settlement already required ExxonMobil to pay a $7.7 million civil penalty, perform an additional $6.7 million in supplemental environmental projects in communities around the company's refineries, and install pollution controls at six of its U.S. refineries.  The agreement penalizes ExxonMobil for failing to comply with the 2005 settlement at four refineries in Beaumont and Baytown, TX; Torrance, CA; and Baton Rouge, LA.  Most of the penalties are for failure to monitor and control the sulfur content in certain fuel gas streams burned in refinery furnaces, as required by the 2005 settlement and EPA regulations.  The other two refineries covered under the 2005 settlement are located in Joliet, IL and Billings, MT.  Between 2005 and 2007, ExxonMobil did not monitor the sulfur content in some fuel gas streams and subsequent testing revealed sulfur content in excess of EPA limits.  The burning of sulfur-containing gases emits sulfur dioxide, which can cause serious respiratory problems. 

    Calumet Shreveport, LLC has agreed to pay $230,000 to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Midway Street Lubricants facility located in Shreveport, Louisiana.  On October 30, 2008, an accidental release and fire occurred at the facility’s sour water tank while vacuum trucks were removing residual oil. The fire produced thick black smoke for two hours. Because of the fire, a federal inspection was conducted.  EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality worked together in partnership in responding to the incident and in developing the enforcement response to this incident.  The settlement addresses the company’s noncompliance by failing to prevent the release and fire, and failure to follow its policy requiring sources of ignition to be removed from the vicinity of a tank before emptying or venting.  The inspection also found that the company failed to implement safe work practices and employees did not have vapor monitoring equipment and lacked proper personal protective equipment.  In addition to the fine, Calumet has agreed to comply with recommendations in Audit Reports. The company must certify that the Audit Report recommendations have been fully addressed and implemented.

    Calcasieu Refining Company was issued a Consent Decree resolving alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the company’s Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery. The agreement provides for a $612,500 cash penalty to be shared with the State.  The injunctive relief, at a cost of $1.8 million, addresses PSD/NSR, NSPS J, excess flaring, Leak Detection and Repair, and benzene in wastewater.  When completed, the enhanced controls and work practices under the agreement will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds by approximately 45,000 pounds.

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    New Mexico

    Western Refining - In a joint effort between EPA Region 6 and the New Mexico Environment Department, a Consent Agreement and Final Order was issued to Western Refining to resolve violations of federal hazardous waste rules.  Western operates a petroleum refinery in Jamestown, New Mexico, approximately 17 miles east of Gallup. The refinery had multiple violations stemming from its storage and treatment of hazardous waste containing benzene, a human carcinogen present in petroleum.  Western Refining has agreed to pay a fine of $734,008, cease all discharges of benzene in the aeration lagoons, and close the two aeration lagoons that received hazardous waste.  Western has further agreed to construct an upgraded waste water treatment facility, and dismantle all benzene air strippers once the waste water treatment facility is complete. Western will provide financial assurance for the closure of both aeration lagoons and the removal of all benzene strippers at the facility.  Complying actions will cost the facility approximately $7.7 million and will result in over 171 million pounds of Hazardous Waste being properly treated.

    Taos Pueblo was issued an Order on Consent for recurring bacteriological contamination at the community’s drinking water system. The Order requires the Pueblo to install disinfection and correct the water system deficiencies to provide well head protection.  This Order will result in the protection of approximately 1,500 people from being exposed to contaminated drinking water through compliance with the requirement of the total coliform maximum contamination level.

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    Oklahoma

    Chemtrade Logistics, Chemtrade Refinery Services, and Marsulex manufacturers of sulfuric acid, have agreed to spend at least $12 million on air pollution controls that are expected to eliminate more than 3,000 tons of harmful emissions annually from six production plants in Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  They will also pay a civil penalty of $700,000 under the Clean Air Act settlement.

    Cantrell Energy Corporation, of Ada, Oklahoma, was issued a cease and desist order for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. A June 11, 2009, EPA inspection of the company’s oil field production facility in Carter County, Oklahoma, found an unauthorized discharge of oil field brine generated by production activities into a tributary of Spring Branch Creek. The inspection also revealed that water located at the discharge point of entry into the tributary was contaminated from brine discharges and salts.  Cantrell Energy has been ordered to cease all discharges of pollutants from the facility, remove all brine and contaminated soils from the flow path located between the facility and the tributary of Spring Branch Creek, and within 30 days, provide written certification to EPA that these activities have been completed.

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    Texas

    BP Products North America Inc. was issued a consent decree that requires the facility to spend more than $161 million on pollution controls, enhanced maintenance and monitoring, and improved internal management practices to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Texas City, Texas refinery.  The company will also pay a $12 million civil penalty and spend $6 million on a supplemental project to reduce air pollution in Texas City.  It is estimated that these actions will reduce emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds by approximately 240,000 pounds annually.  

    Delek Refining, Ltd. (Delek), which currently owns and operates the facility, was issued a consent decree to resolve Clean Air Act violations at a refinery in Tyler, Texas.  The violations were discovered during inspections and record reviews conducted in 2003, when Tyler Holding Company, Inc. (Tyler Holding) owned and operated the refinery.  Tyler Holding will pay a $624,000 civil penalty, and Delek will conduct enhanced monitoring to address flaring and leak-detection-and-repair issues at the refinery.  The projects conducted by Delek will cost approximately $25 million, which will reduce sulfur dioxide by 200,000 pounds and carbon monoxide by 380,000 pounds, per year.

    Shintech, Inc. agreed to spend $4.8 million to comply with the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at their manufacturing facilities in Freeport, Texas. This action will reduce harmful chlorofluorocarbon emissions and improve hazardous waste management at these facilities beyond the requirements imposed by environmental laws. Shintech has also agreed to pay a $2.585 million civil penalty to resolve environmental violations under the Clean Air Act, RCRA, and the Clean Water Act, and to perform $4.7 million worth of supplemental environmental projects.

    ExxonMobil has agreed to pay nearly $6.1 million in civil penalties for violating the terms of a 2005 court-approved Clean Air Act agreement. The 2005 settlement already required ExxonMobil to pay a $7.7 million civil penalty, perform an additional $6.7 million in supplemental environmental projects in communities around the company's refineries, and install pollution controls at six of its U.S. refineries. The agreement penalizes ExxonMobil for failing to comply with the 2005 settlement at four refineries in Beaumont and Baytown, Texas; Torrance, Calif.; and Baton Rouge, La. Most of the penalties are for failure to monitor and control the sulfur content in certain fuel gas streams burned in refinery furnaces, as required by the 2005 settlement and EPA regulations. The other two refineries covered under the 2005 settlement are located in Joliet, Ill. and Billings, Montana.  Between approximately 2005 and 2007, ExxonMobil did not monitor the sulfur content in some fuel gas streams and subsequent testing revealed sulfur content in excess of EPA limits. The burning of sulfur-containing gases emits sulfur dioxide, which can cause serious respiratory problems. 

    The Explorer Pipeline Company has been ordered to pay a $3.3 million civil penalty to resolve violation of the Clean Water Act, stemming from a July 14, 2007, spill of over 6,500 barrels (approximately 275,000 gallons) of jet fuel from its interstate pipeline at a location near Huntsville, Texas.  Explorer’s 28-inch interstate refined petroleum products pipeline ruptured near Huntsville and jet fuel spilled onto the surrounding area and into nearby Turkey Creek, which flows to the Trinity River at the upper reaches of Lake Livingston.

    Invista, a multi-national manufacturer of a wide range of polymer-based fibers, including Lycra, Stainmaster, and Coolmax, will pay a $1.7 million civil penalty and spend up to an estimated $500 million to correct self-reported environmental violations discovered at facilities in seven states, including  three facilities in Region 6.  The company disclosed more than 680 violations of water, air, hazardous waste, emergency planning and preparedness, and pesticide regulations to EPA after auditing 12 facilities it acquired from DuPont in 2004, including facilities in LaPorte, Orange, and Victoria, Texas.  To ensure continued compliance and minimization of the benzene wastes generated at the Victoria and Orange, Texas facilities, Invista is required to either upgrade control equipment or make major changes to its processes used to handle these wastes.  EPA estimates that these actions will reduce air emissions of benzene by more than nine tons annually, and eliminate 25 to 750 tons per year of benzene from wastewater.

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