Every year, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP), the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) publicly release a summary of notable enforcement actions they have taken throughout the year. Highlights from their 2021 round-up are included below.
Compliance with environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulations is essential in today’s world. At St.Germain, our senior scientists and professional engineers can help with all your compliance needs, from program development and maintenance to outsourcing or training.
It’s important to note that while asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are not usually a focus of environmental compliance, New Hampshire and Massachusetts had many 2021 ACM management violations cited with very high penalties. These violations were triggered by building renovation or demolition. If you need information on ACM and the regulation of these activities, or could use our help with any form of EHS compliance, please contact us at (207) 591-7000.
Cannabis Growing Facility, Massachusetts: Air – Emitting VOCs without an air license and an unregistered diesel generator. Hazardous Waste – Failure to obtain an EPA identification number, lack of container content and date of generation labeling, and discharging 402 gallons of ethanol to the municipal sewer system. Wastewater – use of a storage tank for nutrient wastewater rather than discharging to the municipal sewer. MassDEP Penalty = $17,819.
Paper Mill, Maine: Air – Multiple emission violations including visible and SO4 discharges. Oil Releases – multiple underreported releases of oil to secondary containment, some of which were over 5,000 gallons. Maine DEP Penalty = $88,000.
Casket Manufacturer, Massachusetts: Air – lack of VOC emission records associated with paint booths, paint spray guns not cleaned in an enclosed device, and large boiler not inspected annually. Hazardous Waste – no weekly inspection records, improper storage of universal waste, lack of emergency exit signs, and out-of-date fire extinguishers. Waste Oil – not registered to generate waste oil and a lack of container labeling. In addition, lack of response to a draft consent order. MassDEP Penalty = $9,368.
Railroad Company, Maine: Wastewater – discharges of oil to nearby river, comingling of stormwater and wastewater, and pervasive stained soil. Air – failure to pay licensing fee. Maine DEP Penalty = $200,000 reduced to $90,000 if required improvements are completed in a timely manner.
Gasket Manufacturer, Massachusetts: Hazardous Waste – hazardous waste stored over 90 days, containers not properly labeled, and improper container storage. Waste Oil – containers not labeled and stored beyond 180 days. Air – Inaccurate emission records and excessive VOC emissions. MassDEP Penalty = $35,000.
Concrete Plant, Massachusetts: Waste Oil – lack of documentation on waste oil storage, lack of hazardous waste training, and no agreements with emergency responders. Air – lack of a permit for a concrete batching facility. MassDEP Penalty = $23,850 with $11,850 suspended if consent agreement conditions are met.
Metal Plating Company, Massachusetts: Facility stored hazardous waste without license, lack of hazardous waste determinations, and containers improperly marked. MassDEP Penalty = $26,000 with all but $5,000 suspended if conditions are corrected.
Auto Dealership, Massachusetts: Failed to obtain large quantity generator license and update UST registrations. MassDEP Penalty = $7,000.
Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility, Massachusetts: Exceeded storage capacity, lack of staff training, lack of inspection documentation, and improper waste storage. MassDEP Penalty = $37,375 with all suspended if conditions corrected within one year.
Commercial Laboratory, New Hampshire: Lack of training, incomplete logbooks, and missing manifests. NHDES Penalty = $6,060.
Electronics Manufacturer, Massachusetts: Exceeded hazardous waste generator classification, containers improperly marked, lack of proper signage, unsafe container storage, no emergency coordinator or contact list, and lack of training. Facility also violated air emission standards for VOCs. MassDEP Penalty = $25,707 with $11,770 suspended if facility meets all conditions of the consent agreement.
Hazardous Waste Contractor, Massachusetts: Lack of a Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility license, improper storage of waste oil, and lack of compliance with a previous order. MassDEP Penalty = $10,000.
Transfer Station, Massachusetts: Solid waste and construction and demolition debris (CDD) were exposed to stormwater in violation of permit conditions, stormwater infrastructure was in poor condition, and wind-blown trash was present during multiple inspections. MassDEP Penalty = $24,150 with $12,500 suspended if consent agreement conditions are met.
Wastewater and Stormwater
Lumber Company, Maine: Lack of quarterly site inspections for stormwater, no record of historical spills, no effort to implement best management practices, and lack of response to multiple regulatory inspections. Maine DEP Penalty = $65,000.
Auto Salvage Yards, Massachusetts: All of the facilities had either not identified or incorrectly identified stormwater conveyance paths and/or discharge points (outfalls). Additionally, the facilities had conducted inadequate corrective actions to try and mitigate the monitored pollutants as required. US EPA Penalty = $293,425.
Seafood Processor, Maine: Discharge of seafood processing and cleanup wastewater to surface water, discharges from storage totes, broken discharge pipes, lack of required water quality monitoring data. Maine DEP Penalty = $87,000 with $76,244 suspended if compliance with the consent agreement is met.
Construction Company, Maine: Filling 22 acres of wetlands. US EPA Penalty = $850,000 of wetland restoration work and a $25,000 fine.
Agricultural Business, Maine: Wetland alterations without a permit, installation of a small dam, and other impacts within 75 ft of a wetland. Maine DEP Penalty = $10,223.
Power Plant, New Hampshire: Violated Title V permit standards with respect to mercury emissions, and related health and safety violations for mercury exposure. NHDES Penalty = $37,588.
Semiconductor Plant, Maine: The facility was storing solvent hazardous wastes in several tanks but had no air emissions compliance program in place for the tanks nor did it meet air requirements for labeling, monitoring, and recordkeeping for the various equipment associated with the tanks. US EPA Penalty = $104,545.
Injection Molding Facility, New Hampshire: Inaccurate emission reports for VOCs, lack of records for surface coating, and lack of payment for emission fees. NHDES Penalty = $9,106.
Metal Casting Facility, New Hampshire: Lack of an appropriate air emissions permit and failure to submit annual reports. NHDES Penalty = $5,851.
University, New Hampshire: Failure of opacity standards, non-compliant exhaust stacks, lack of record keeping, and delayed reporting of NOX data. NHDES Penalty = $11,456.
Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA)
Transportation Company, Rhode Island: Failing to comply with chemical and process hazard safety requirements under both “general duty clause” (GDC) and “risk management program” (RMP) provisions, by failing to properly prepare and submit EPCRA chemical inventory reports for numerous chemicals present at its facility. US EPA Penalty = $314,658.
Plant Grow Media Manufacturer, Maine: Failed to follow federal regulations in its use of toluene diisocyanate, failed to prepare and submit a Risk Management Plan due to its use of the chemical, and other improper health and safety conditions. US EPA Penalty = $137,294.
Chemical Company, Maine: Anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonia, and sulfuric acid are used in its operations, but did not have a required Risk Management Plan. US EPA Penalty= $305,000.
Want to learn more?
If you have questions regarding these 2021 enforcement actions or effective compliance in general, please call us at (207) 591-7000.