This new site packages together all of EPA New
EnglandÆs home-related environmental subjects. The
site includes information on where hazardous waste
sites are located in specific communities; and
pollution related information on such topics as
lead, arsenic, asbestos, indoor air quality, pests
and pesticides, and radon. The site also contains
links to information on energy efficiency and a
geographically-based web site called In My
Backyard. This site identifies the many home-related
environmental issues that New Englanders should be
aware of, whether they live in an urban, suburban
or rural setting, said Ira Leighton, acting
regional administrator at EPAÆs New England
Office. IÆm sure it will be of great interest to
homeowners and renters alike.
The site is available at
EPA PENALIZES ORO VALLEY DEVELOPER $60,000 FOR STORM WATER VIOLATIONS
EPA penalized Sharpe and Associates and Palisades Development Company $60,000 today for storm water pollution violations at a development site in Oro Valley, Ariz.
Sharpe and Palasades failed to stabilize disturbed areas and did not take other measures needed to prevent sediment laden runoff during grading and construction of the 50 acre Catalina Shadows Phase Four Development Site. As a result, rain eroded bare soil and carried excessive amounts of sediment into Big Wash in the Canada del Oro watershed, a tributary to the Santa Cruz River.
This penalty could have been avoided if the developer had used effective sediment and erosion controls, said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division of the EPAÆs Pacific Southwest office. Land owner, developers, and their contractors have a long-standing legal obligation to maintain management practices that ensure sediment in storm water does not pollute waterways.
For sites five acres or larger, the federal Clean Water Act requires that developers and contractors implement storm water pollution prevention plans that include effective erosion and sediment control measures so that sediment discharges do not increase above what normally occurs prior to grading. Sharpe did not properly carry out its storm water pollution prevention plan.
Sediment from construction sites can clog up city
storm drains or end up in streams and rivers,
choking plant and animal life. Many pollutants
such as oil and grease from various sources also
bind to sediments, and are then transported into
waterways along with the sediment.
EPA FINES UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA $9,350 FOR PCB VIOLATIONS
EPA last week fined the University of California $9,350 for failing to register three electrical transformers containing PCBs at its Los Angeles and San Diego campuses.
In addition to paying the fine, the University of California will dispose of the old transformers and install replacements that do not contain PCBs. PCBs are a highly toxic substance, said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPAÆs regional Cross-Media Division director. EPA is aggressively inspecting facilities to ensure compliance with 1998 federal requirements so we know where PCB transformers are located and how they are being handled.
This case was initiated after inspections found that two PCB transformers at UCLA and one PCB transformer at UCSD were not registered with the EPA. The federal Toxic Substances Control Act requires PCB transformer registration in order to track the use and proper disposal of such equipment. Records are required to document the condition of the equipment and warnings are required to ensure workers and the public are aware that a hazardous substance is present.
This is the third of several enforcement actions the EPA is taking to encourage owners of PCB transformers to register and properly handle their equipment. In the past year, the EPA has also taken actions against Pacific Tube of City of Commerce, Calif. and Nevada Cement Company of Fernley, Nev., for similar PCB violations.
Information on the UC case, and previous PCB
transformer cases, can be found at
Visit http://www.epa.gov/pcb/ for information on
PCBs, as well as a list of companies that have
registered PCB transformers. Or go to
information on PCB activities in Region 9.
EPA, CATALYTICA SETTLE RIGHT-TO-KNOW CASE FOR $71,000
EPA recently settled a complaint against an East Palo Alto-based pharmaceutical and pesticide manufacturer that requires the company to pay $71,673 for alleged federal community right-to-know violations.
The agency alleged that the Catalytica facility at 1990 Bay Road failed to file complete and accurate reports estimating its releases of toxic chemicals to the environment. The chemicals requiring disclosure under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act included methanol, hexane and several other compounds.
Companies that handle hazardous chemicals owe it to their employees and the surrounding community to accurately report how those materials are being used, stored and disposed of, said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPAÆs Cross Media Division in San Francisco. We intend on making sure that communities remain aware of chemical use in their neighborhood.
EPA staff discovered the alleged violations during an inspection in June 1998, and issued a complaint to Catalytica in September 1999. The EPA alleged one count of failure to submit a timely Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Form, nine counts of failures to submit complete and accurate forms, and eight counts of failures to maintain complete records supporting forms.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires annual reports to the EPA and the state from facilities that use or manufacture certain toxic chemicals over a specified amount. The reports provide estimates of the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on site, or transferred off-site to another facility. Each year the EPA publishes a report entitled the Toxic Release Inventory, which summarized the prior yearÆs submissions and provides detailed trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.
A copy of the TRI Public Data Release can be
obtained by calling (800) 535-0202. Environmental
databases, including TRI data, can also be
accessed via the Internet by visiting U.S. EPA
Envirofacts Warehouse Home Page at
ST. LOUIS NONATTAINMENT DATE DELAYED
EPA is postponing the effective date - from May 18, 2001 to June 29, 2001 - of EPAÆs determination that the St. Louis area did not attain the ozone (smog) standard by its deadline. This delay in the effective date of the nonattainment determination enables regulated entities in the St. Louis area to prepare for compliance with the new requirements that would become applicable in the area upon the effective date of the nonattainment determination and reclassification. The postponement also allows EPA to complete its rulemaking on whether the St. Louis area should be granted an extension of its attainment date on grounds that pollution from upwind areas contributes to ozone levels in the St. Louis area. EPA has proposed that if the agency approves an attainment date extension, EPA would withdraw its March 19 determination of nonattainment and notice of reclassification for the St. Louis area. The comment period on our proposal to extend the attainment date ended May 3 and EPA is currently evaluating all comments received. If EPA withdraws the nonattainment determination and grants an extension to the attainment date, the St. Louis area would retain its moderate classification while working to attain the 1-hour ozone standard by November 2004 and serious area requirements would not be triggered in the St. Louis area.
The St. Louis area includes Madison, Monroe, and
St. Clair counties in Illinois; and the city of
St. Louis and Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and
St. Louis counties in Missouri.
Contacts for this action are Ed Doty, EPA Region
5 - Chicago, IL at (312) 886-6057; or Lynn
Slugantz, EPA Region 7 - Kansas City, KS at
MISSOURI MAN INDICTED ON CLEAN WATER ACT CHARGES
Gary L. Smith, owner of Warren County Water and
Sewer District in Warren County, Mo., was indicted
on charges that he violated the Clean Water Act.
The charges allege that Smith intentionally
allowed raw sewage to be discharged into Incline
Village Lake frequently used for recreation. Raw
sewage can contain bacteria and pathogenic
organisms which can cause infections and its
discharge into recreational waters can make them
unsafe for swimming and other recreational
activities. The case was investigated by EPAÆs
Criminal Investigation Division with the
assistance of EPAÆs National Enforcement
Investigations Center and is being prosecuted by
the U.S. AttorneyÆs Office in St. Louis. An
indictment is merely an accusation and all
defendants are presumed innocent unless or until
proven guilty in a court of law.
FOURTEEN SENTENCED FOR FRAUDULENT TESTING IN PENNSYLVANIA
On May 2, 14 persons from six states-Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina and
Texas-were sentenced on federal charges arising
from the improper testing of gasoline underground
storage tanks in Pennsylvania. Falsifying
underground storage tank data can allow leaking
tanks to remain undiscovered, and any leakage can
contaminate surrounding soil and lead to
groundwater contamination. Kevin Moriarty of Boca
Raton, Fla. and Gary Ebel, formerly of Silver
Springs, Texas each were sentenced to 33 months in
prison and two years probation. Steven Becsey of
Bradenton, Fla. was sentenced to 13 months in
prison and two years probation. Katherine R.
Wilson of Sherwood, Ark., Michael Doss of
Rossville, Ga., Dana Smith of Maumelle, Ark.,
Lawrence Finnell of Sherwood, Ark., Joseph
Moriarity of Ocean Isle, N.C., and Phillip Gordon
of Beckville, Texas were sentenced to five months
house arrest as part of two years probation.
Bernard Butler of Indianapolis, Ind., and Diane
Roth of Pflugerville, Tex. were sentenced to four
months house arrest. Mark Smith of Little Rock,
Ark., and Joseph Ricotta of Austin, Texas were
sentenced to three months house arrest. Milton
Barren of Kurten, Texas was fined $500. Testing of
underground storage tanks is required by EPA
regulations under the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act and by state law. During the 1990s,
all of the defendants were involved with one or
more of three underground storage tank testing
companies, AST and ASTI in Little Rock, Ark., AUST
in Austin, Tex. The companies claimed to use a
method to test the tanks that should take about
three hours to perform. However, various employees
of the three companies either did not stay on site
long enough to properly conduct the tests, or did
not have the proper equipment to do the tests, or
sent in falsified results by mail or by telefax.
The case was investigated by EPAÆs Criminal
Investigation Division, the FBI and the Defense
Criminal Investigative Service with assistance
from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection and the Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission. The case was prosecuted
by the U.S. AttorneyÆs Office in Pittsburgh.
OHIO OWNER AND RSV COMPANY SENTENCED
On April 26, Robert S. Vukelic of Richmond, Ohio,
owner of RSV, Inc. was sentenced to six months in
prison, two and one-half years supervised release
and a $5,000 fine following conviction on charges
of felony corruption. Vukelic illegally paid
$171,500 to a public official to obtain Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency grants for his
Pine Hollow landfill in Steubenville. Members of
the Northern Ohio Valley Air Authority, Patsy J.
DeLuca, Ronald DeLuca, and Vincent Zumpano, have
already been sentenced for their involvement in
the unlawful payment scheme. The RSV company was
sentenced to pay a $150,000 fine and serve three
years probation for violating the Clean Air Act.
RSV violated the Clean Air Act by failing to
comply with required asbestos removal practices
when it demolished the Federal Paperboard site in
Steubenville. The improper removal of asbestos can
cause workers to inhale airborne asbestos fibers
which is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung
disease, known as asbestosis, and mesothelioma,
which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal
CONSTRUCTION SITES MUST MANAGE STORM WATER PROPERLY
Changing the landscape with new and useful buildings, homes and industrial developments is the crux of the construction industry. But in the forefront of all construction projects should be a constant concern for the environment.
The mid-Atlantic region of the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to spread this message to those in the construction industry by increasing awareness of permit requirements and pollution prevention measures to control storm water runoff.
With development on the rise, itÆs imperative that we protect our waterways from unnecessary runoff from construction sites so that our streams and lakes can continue to support aquatic life and be available for recreation, said Thomas Voltaggio, EPA acting regional administrator.
Under the Clean Water Act, developers/contractors at construction sites of five acres or more must obtain a permit before discharging storm water runoff into surface waters. The permit requires a storm water pollution prevention plan and may contain discharge limits and monitoring requirements.
Neeraj Sharma, an EPA enforcement officer, said the agency is stepping up its efforts to see that the law is followed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
We have spent the last two years reaching out to the regulated community to make them aware of what is required to comply with the law, said Sharma. Despite these efforts, we are still finding widespread non-compliance.
Recently, the EPAÆs mid-Atlantic region took enforcement action in a construction case by ordering Airston Group developers of Centerville, Va. to draft a dredging plan and correct severe erosion and storm water pollution problems at a housing construction site in Fairfax County, Va.
The order alleges that the developers never applied for the proper permits to control runoff from construction activity, which included the drainage of a farm pond on the site. Uncontrolled runoff from construction and work on the pond increased the amount and velocity of water flowing through a tributary on the site. This resulted in the discharge of pollutants and severe bank erosion, allowing mud and silt to flow downstream into small lake, where it accumulated as a small island.
Sharma and other EPA inspectors are working with state environmental agencies to inspect construction sites to ensure developers and contractors comply with storm water requirements. If a site is found in non-compliance, EPA or the appropriate state or local agency may take enforcement action on that could include an appropriate penalty.
If you are interested in obtaining permit coverage, contact your local state environmental agency. For more information about EPAÆs National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Program, including state permit contacts for construction activities, go to EPAÆs website at: http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/construction.
Beginning May 15, 2001, the Water Protection
Division in EPAÆs mid-Atlantic office will have
sample Storm water Pollution Prevention Plans
(SWPPPs) and information on environmental impacts
from storm water runoff available via its web site
under Programs and Initiatives at
EPA ASSESSES CCA-TREATED WOOD
On May 9, 2001 EPA met with representatives of the
wood-treatment industry, including manufacturers
and retailers, and with representatives of
environmental and public interest groups, to
discuss the current status of EPAÆs reassessment
of CCA-treated wood and to evaluate efforts for
informing the public about the safe use and
handling of pressure-treated wood. Both meetings
featured constructive and direct discussion
regarding safety information available to
consumers about CCA-treated wood. Industry
participants committed to submit a proposal to EPA
in two weeks for strengthening consumer safety
materials. A public meeting will be convened in
early June involving EPA and all stakeholders, to
further discuss efforts to strengthen consumer
safety information related to CCA-treated wood.
EPA is currently reviewing all available
scientific information to conduct a thorough and
comprehensive reassessment of CCA-treated wood. As
part of this reassessment, the Agency is
expediting a risk assessment, expected to be
completed in June, focusing on childrenÆs
potential exposure from playground equipment
constructed with CCA-treated wood. EPA remains
committed to ensuring ample opportunity for public
involvement in all aspects of this process.
NORTHEASTERN STATES SHOW SUCCESS OF NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSION TRADING PROGRAM
A new report shows the continued success of an innovative, market-based, emission trading program to control nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in northeastern states. NOx is a prime ingredient in the formation of the nationÆs most pervasive air pollutant, ground level ozone (smog), which can irritate the respiratory tract, impair breathing ability and cause various other respiratory problems. In participating states, NOx emissions were reduced 11 percent below legal limits, and more than 60 percent below 1990 levels. This program, begun in 1999, represents the first implementation of an air emission cap and trade approach to an issue other than acid rain, where the trading strategy has been used successfully nationwide since 1995 to control sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from power plants. TodayÆs report was released by the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) which Congress created under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to better coordinate the efforts of northeastern states in reducing NOx emissions. In a unique partnership between federal and state government, the OTC asked EPA to help implement their NOx program. The trading program demonstrates that EPA and state organizations such as OTC can successfully partner to make substantial reductions in NOx emissions using least-cost approaches. The 2000 OTC NOx Budget Program Compliance Report can be found at: http://www.sso.org/otc/ or at: http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/cmprpt/index.html. For further technical information, contact Kenon Smith at 202-564-9164 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).