2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

Two recent cases serve as a reminder that companies face enforcement action, including significant penalties, even when they have no illegal discharges or emissions. Companies are expected to comply with EPA’s rules regarding structures and plans in place to protect from catastrophic events.  When EPA inspections show required measures are not in place, expect enforcement.

Inadequate SPCC
A North Dakota company faced enforcement for inadequate Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC); its secondary containment for its oil storage tanks was deficient and it did not have a complete facility-wide SPCC Plan. In its news release, EPA said the company had submitted an adequate SPCC Plan and upgraded the containment structures, as a result of the enforcement.  It also agreed to a $50,000 penalty.

Risk Management Program Failures
In Hawaii, a company paid almost $200,000 in penalties for Risk Management Program failures.  An EPA inspection found corroded pipes.  Also, the company’s documents did not show adequate training, nor did they show employees were provided written normal and emergency shutdown procedures.

To see the news release regarding the North Dakota facilities https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-proposed-settlement-phoenix-petroleum-resolves-clean-water-act-violations-north

To see the news release regarding the Hawaii facility https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-fines-east-oahu-plant-over-clean-air-act-violations

Complimentary Webinar on July 20
Keith Bradley, Director, Ecological Services, GES, and I will present a complimentary webinar Clean Water Act Section 404: Today and Tomorrow on Tuesday July 20, 2021, noon-1 PM Central Time.  To register, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6968921716297226511