U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announced today that concluded enforcement actions in fiscal year 2010 (FY 2010) will result in the treatment, minimization or proper disposal of more than 9.8 billion pounds of hazardous wastes. Respondents in the Region 4 states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and on tribal lands will invest more than $420 million in pollution control and cleanup and will implement more than $5 million in Supplemental Environmental Projects. The concluded enforcement actions include more than $15 million in assessed penalties.
”EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment,” said Gwen Keyes-Fleming, EPA Region 4 Administrator. “We are committed in Region 4 to ensuring that pollution problems that impact our communities and neighborhoods are addressed through vigorous civil and criminal enforcement.”
Highlights in Region 4 include the successful conclusion of the Agency’s first case under the National Enforcement Priority for Mining and Mineral Processing with a civil judicial settlement with CF Industries, Inc. of Plant City, FL. This precedent-setting consent decree will require CF to spend over $12 million to reconfigure current manufacturing or waste handling processes and install/operate a Wastewater Treatment Unit and will result in the elimination or treatment of over 9 billion pounds of hazardous waste.
Region 4 is committed to ensuring that enforcement actions achieve measurable results for the environment and the public health in communities that are disproportionately impacted by non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations. To that end, in FY 2010, Region 4 concluded enforcement actions in potential environmental justice areas that will require Respondents to spend more than $237 million to come into compliance with environmental regulations. Seventeen of the enforcement actions concluded in potential environmental justice areas in Region 4 include Supplemental Environmental Projects benefiting communities and populations impacted by non-compliance with environmental laws. Approximately $12 million in federal penalties will be assessed for companies located in these communities.
In FY 2010, the Region 4 Criminal Enforcement Program referred 35 cases for federal prosecution and 1 case to a state court system. Prosecutors in Region 4 charged 13 corporations and 36 individuals with environmental crimes, most of which were felonies. A total of 49 defendants were convicted of environmental crimes. Criminal defendants were assessed over $7.6 million in fines and over $2 million in restitution. In 2010, 26 new investigations were initiated.
As in past years, these results can be viewed using an interactive Web-based tool that highlights many of the enforcement, compliance, and community-based activities that EPA carried out in FY 2010. The website also includes a map that provides the public with detailed information about the enforcement actions taken at more than 4,500 facilities throughout the United States.
To learn more about enforcement results in Region 4, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region4/ead/annual_results/index.html