Enhesa Enforcement Corner - Issue 2

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Enforcement in August 2017

With input from Han van Gellecum, Deirdre Perquy, Sunita Paudyal, Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford, Ruth White and Paula Diaz

Enhesa keeps an eye on key regulatory enforcement actions around the globe. Here are just some examples of the many enforcement cases around the world in the past month…

NETHERLANDS:

Aluchemie (a chemical company) was fined EUR 1 million (approx. USD 1.8 million) for non-compliance due to environmental requirements. SInce 2012, the company emitted more sulfur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride than was permitted by its licence. In addition, the company is accused of not reporting unusual incidents. This included four incidents in 2013, including a fire and muntiple leaks/spills that could lead to soil contamination.

INDIA:

In Kerala, 12 governmental and private x-ray diagnostic facilities were forced to shut down because they failed to pass surprise inspections by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The facilities in question did not have the required operating licences or registrations under the Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004.

PERU:

2,000 inspectors are being trained by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion to detect forced and child labor. Companies carrying out forced or child labor can be punished with fines ranging from USD 60,000 to USD 250,000.

CHINA:

In Shanghai, July 2017, the Shanghai Government shutdown seven industrial companies for illegally discharging wastewater upstream on the Huangpu River, one of Shanghai's major tap-water sources. The illegal discharge was discovered during the course of environmental inspections conducted by the municipal government.

USA:

1.) In Michigan, December 2016, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a cease and desist order to Electro-Plate Service, Inc. (EPS) for violations of hazardous waste regulations. The order stems from a DEQ inspection made along with the Madison Heights Fire City Department on 15 November 2016. Inspectors identified approximately 5,000 containers of hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and unknown contents. Most of the containers were improperly stored, unlabeled, open, and corroded, or otherwise in very poor condition.

2.) In Minesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) completes 48 enforcement cases in the second quarter of 2017. The MPCA assessed penalties against 48 companies for failing to comply with state environmental regulations. The penalties ranged from USD 500 to USD 68,000 and totaled a sum of USD 450,000 for the second quarter of the year. This amount is slightly higher than the total settlements in the first quarter of 2017; the first quarter compeleted 47 enforcement cases and assessed USD 440,000 in settlements.

3.) In California, a new law was adopted that increases the power of air quality officials to shut down polluting facilities almost immediately.

UNITED KINGDOM:1.) Tata Steel, a steel company, is required to pay GBP 1 million (approx.USD 1.3 million) in fines after releasing toxic and flammable substances.

2.) Pyronix Limited, a manufacturing company, fined GBP 140,000 (approx. USD 184,996) after worker suffers serious flash burns.

3.) A Bakery is fined GBP 1 million (about USD 1.3 million) following the death of self-employed electrical contractor who died from a fall off of a step ladder.

CANADA:

The Canadian National Railway Company is requried to pay over CAD 2.5 million (approx. USD 2 million) in penalties for issues surrounding their oil storage tanks releasing oil into the North Saskatchewan River.

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