2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

A company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. The company also agreed to construct a new water treatment facility and conduct enhanced stormwater discharge inspections.

186 Alleged Violations
According to the proposed Consent Decree and EPA’s news release, EPA and the state environmental agency allege the company’s facility had 186 violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit since 2016, with discharges of copper, aluminum, residual chlorine, phenolics, and iron exceeding authorized limits.

Penalty, New Treatment System, Stormwater Inspections
In addition to $1.9 million in civil penalty, split evenly between the state and federal governments, the company agreed to construct a new treatment system and operate a temporary treatment system until the new system is installed. Descriptions of each system are part of the proposed Decree.

The company agreed to submit a new storm water pollution prevention plan and document monthly internal inspections to address the NPDES permit’s stormwater requirements. At a minimum, the inspections must consider eight specific items listed in the proposed Decree.

To see EPA’s news release, which has a link to access the proposed Decree https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/messer-llc-pay-19-million-penalty-clean-water-act-violations-new-cumberland-wv

New WOTUS Rule by September 1, 2023
In a separate news release, EPA announced that it and the Department of the Army expect to issue a final rule on the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) on September 1, 2023, which will be consistent with the recent US Supreme Court decision.

To see this news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-statement-sackett-v-epa