2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

In 2021, EPA conducted a Virtual Partial Compliance Evaluation (VPCE) of a chemical manufacturing facility that identified violations of EPA’s chemical accident prevention requirements. In 2022, while EPA and the company were negotiating a settlement to resolve the violations found in the VPCE, the facility had a fire that resulted in a shelter-in-place order for the facility’s neighbors.

$1.4 Million Penalty and Injunction
On April 9, 2024, EPA issued a news release announcing a settlement that will resolve alleged violations relating to the fire in addition to those found in the VPCE. The company “will pay a civil penalty of $1,441,712.00.” The settlement includes injunctive provisions that require the company to “undertake several actions to resolve alleged violations.” Under the injunction, the company shall improve procedures “to assure timely completion of the Process Hazardous Analysis recommendations,” increase inspections “to maintain mechanical integrity of process equipment,” address and resolve “overdue compliance audits findings,” and update and effectively implement “operating procedures at the facility.”

Injunction Aligns with Amendments to EPA’s Risk Management Program
In the news release, EPA said the injunction “aligns with new amendments to the Risk Management Program announced on March 1, 2024, that require stronger measures for prevention, preparedness, and public transparency.” (See Alert EPA Amends Risk Management Program [3/4/2024])

To see the news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-14m-settlement-sasol-chemicals-alleged-chemical-accident-prevention