Jared Blumenfeld, 49, of San Francisco, has been appointed secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
"Through their reckless mismanagement of waste explosives, the defendants put the safety of an entire town at risk," said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator of the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Today's sentencing should send a clear message that EPA and our law enforcement partners will hold corporate officials responsible for violating laws designed to protect our communities and the environment."
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported that its inspections after the Sept. 10 explosion "discovered violations including unreported landslides, impacts to aquatic resources, construction activities occurring in unpermitted areas, and several sections of the pipeline that required the installation of additional measures to prevent accelerated erosion."
The settlement requires Rho-Chem, LLC to complete a supplemental environmental project to purchase and provide at least $352,992 worth of emergency response instruments and communication and computing equipment to the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Homeland Security/Hazardous Materials Response Section.
The parties had submitted a tentative consent decree to the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Aug. 8 to settle the litigation over the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. At least 109,000 metric tons of methane emissions were released during the leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, according to CARB.
By Aug. 1, the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will produce an updated list of all such sites known to exist in the state. Gov. John Hickenlooper's executive order expands state efforts to plug, remediate, and reclaim them and to prevent additional wells and sites from being orphaned in the future.
"Operation Thunderstorm has seen significant seizures at global level, showing how coordinated global operations can maximize impact," said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. "Operation Thunderstorm sends a clear message to wildlife criminals that the world's law enforcement community is homing in on them."
A consent decree was filed in federal district court in the Northern District of Indiana that requires U.S. Steel to pay more than $600,000 as a civil penalty and to reimburse EPA and the National Park Service for response costs incurred after an April 2017 spill of wastewater containing hexavalent chromium that entered a waterway flowing into Lake Michigan.
Richard A. Hyde, P.E., is retiring effective in April.
DEQ began its investigation after an anonymous tip. The investigators estimated that 987,440 gallons of wastewater were illegally discharged from the lagoon, with contaminants from wastewater eventually making their way to a tributary of the Trent River 1.5 miles away.
Construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline can resume. "DEP will continue to monitor and enforce the conditions of the permits and will take necessary enforcement actions for any future violations," said McDonnell. "If a resident should witness pollution from the pipeline affecting streams or other waterways, then please alert DEP at 1-800-541-2050."
The fine was included in $1,083,788 in fines against 46 regulated entities for violating state environmental regulations.
The Great Lakes Oil Spill Prevention Act was introduced earlier this month and would “impose additional requirements on portions of petroleum pipelines that cross waters of the Great Lakes,” among other goals, according to the bill’s text.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Wednesday that the maximum civil penalty rate for violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act will increase from $42,704 to $43,576 a day for each violation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has collected a $1.7 million civil penalty prescribed in a consent order and agreement with Energy Corporation of America (ECA) for violations at 17 well sites in Greene and Clearfield counties.
Two individuals and one company have now pleaded guilty to charges arising out of a federal investigation of collusion in the liquid aluminum sulfate industry, according to DOJ.
The agency's order lists various violations and says Sunoco Pipeline's "unlawful conduct . . . demonstrates a lack of ability or intention on the part of Sunoco to comply with the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, and permits issued thereunder."
The agency reported since 2013, Cabot had excess emissions of natural gas from 267 pneumatic controllers at well sites and did not submit complete compliance demonstration reports for 20 gas wells.
Most of the illegal waste discovered during the operation was metal or electronic waste, and generally it was related to the car industry. In all, 226 waste crimes and 413 administrative violations were found, including criminal cases of 141 shipments carrying a total of 14,000 tonnes of illegal waste and 85 sites where more than 1 million tonnes of waste was illegally disposed.
Volkswagen will invest $800 million on zero-emission infrastructure in the next decade, part of its settlement with state and federal agencies for using a "defeat device" that caused in 2009-2016 diesel cars to emit far more nitrogen oxide than allowed.