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EPA Waives $40,800 Penalty After Company Voluntarily Discloses Chemical Reporting Violations
Release Date: 6/7/2001
Contact Information: Donna Heron, (215) 814-5113
Donna Heron, (215) 814-5113
SPRINGFIELD, Va.. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is waiving a potential $40,800 penalty against Shenandoah’s Pride LLC after the company voluntarily disclosed and corrected chemical release reporting violations at its dairy product plant in Springfield, Va.
Acting under an EPA policy that rewards companies for strictly monitoring their own environmental compliance, the agency’s mid-Atlantic office today announced that it is waiving total penalties of $345,105 against Shenandoah’s Pride and seven other companies in Pennsylvania and Virginia that voluntarily disclosed environmental violations.
Acting Regional Administrator Thomas Voltaggio noted that EPA has collected substantial penalties for similar violations. “Companies can protect the environment and their own bottom lines by closely monitoring their regulatory compliance, promptly disclosing and correcting violations, and acting to prevent future problems,” Voltaggio said.
In 1999, Shenandoah’s Pride notified EPA that an environmental compliance audit uncovered potential violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) -- the federal law requiring companies to file annual reports on toxic chemicals.
Under EPCRA, companies that manufacture, process or use more than a threshold amount of regulated chemicals must report both routine and accidental releases of these chemicals. Shenandoah’s Pride discovered that it had inadvertently failed to file timely reports on releases of phosphoric compounds in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The company promptly filed the required reports. Note: the alleged violations involved reporting requirements, not unlawful chemical releases.
EPA determined that the company qualified for a penalty waiver under the agency’s audit policy, which encourages companies to self-police their own compliance with environmental regulations and voluntarily report violations. The policy substantially reduces, and often eliminates, penalties for violations discovered and corrected by a company. The policy does not cover criminal violations, or violations resulting in significant harm to public health or the environment.
EPA determined that the company’s reporting violation did not result in any serious actual harm to human health or the environment. Because the company did not gain a significant economic benefit from these reporting violations, EPA agreed to a complete penalty waiver.
For more information on the policy, call the EPA Business Assistance Center at 800-228-8711 or check out EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/reg3ecej/audits.htm
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