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EPA enforcement in Arkansas continues to cut pollution

Release Date: 12/04/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

Polluters agree to spend $11.8 billion on environmental controls and cleanup nationwide

(Dallas, Texas – December 4, 2008) More than $11.8 billion in environmental improvements were secured and an estimated four billion pounds of pollution will be prevented as a result of enforcement actions by the Environmental Protection Agency this year. Both figures represent record highs for the agency.

Results for cases with facilities in Arkansas brought more than seven million pounds of pollution reductions, more than $542,000 in penalties and environmental improvements, and 53 concluded enforcement actions.

“Enforcement is a vital part of EPA’s commitment to protecting the environment and public health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “As a result of these efforts, communities throughout Arkansas will benefit from less pollution and more investments by industry to better control pollutants. I commend the work of our staff and environmental partners on a job well done.”

EPA’s enforcement numbers were released today by its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance as part of its fiscal year 2008 accomplishments report. The report outlines some of the agency’s notable achievements in the areas of civil and criminal enforcement, compliance assistance, public health, environmental justice and international cooperation.

A total of $565 million in environmental improvements, 437 million pounds in pollution reductions and two billion pounds of treated or disposed hazardous waste were realized across the region comprising Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Among the agency’s enforcement achievements for Arkansas is the reduction of more than 1.5 million pounds of pollutants from Cal-Maine Food Inc., a concentrated animal feeding operation in Green Forest. Cal-Maine was issued an administrative order to cease and desist all discharges of pollutants into a tributary to Yocum Creek. As a result, the company modified its chicken composting operation to eliminate the possibility of future discharges and removed composting material from drainage pathways on the site.

EPA also helped protect Arkansas waterways through a multi-regional case against Magellan Midstream Partners. The case addressed violations that included the illegal discharge of gasoline and fuel oil from pipelines in five states, including Arkansas, into nearby waterways over a 10-year period. As a result of this national case, Magellan will pay a civil penalty of $5.3 million and spend $750,000 on removing or minimizing any external threats, such as damage from farm equipment and bulldozers, corrosion, leaks and pipeline operator error along segments of its pipeline. The company will also implement system-wide changes to improve employee training, leak response procedures, and protocols for detecting and responding to leaks and ruptures.

In addition to enforcement actions, EPA provided help to more than 12,421 regional businesses and individuals in understanding and complying with environmental responsibilities during the past year.

The EPA enforcement program is a vital tool in ensuring compliance with the nation’s environmental laws and inspiring businesses, governments and others to focus on pollution prevention. Additional information on the 2008 enforcement and compliance results is available at http://www.epa.gov/earth1r6/6en/08-axns.htm.

To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6.

An EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/audio.htm#audio120408_eoy_ar.

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