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Arizona Companies Correct Environmental Violations, EPA Forgives Fines / Businesses avoid $66,000 in penalties by self-reporting environmental violations

Release Date: 11/18/2008
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – Four Arizona companies that voluntarily disclosed and corrected environmental violations have seen penalties waived by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s the result of an EPA policy that has been successful in getting companies to make good-faith efforts in self-policing their own environmental compliance.

The recent toxic release inventory self-disclosure cases had potential penalties ranging from $6,400 to $21,000 for violations that the agency determined caused no serious or actual harm to human health or the environment. Altogether, the four companies avoided $66,000 in penalties.

“This is a win for communities and for the EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Responsible businesses take it upon themselves to check for compliance and promptly disclose any environmental violations found. If they correct them quickly, these companies often see penalties reduced – in some cases to zero.”

In the cases announced today, each company discovered the violations on its own and reported the violations to the EPA. Because the companies satisfied all conditions of the EPA’s self-disclosure policies and there was no economic benefit gained, the EPA eliminated potential penalties.

The self-disclosure cases for Arizona facilities include:

Bay State Milling Company
Location: Tolleson, AZ
Potential Fine: $19,300

Brenntag Pacific Inc.
Location: Chandler, AZ
Potential Fine: $6,400

Goodrich Evacuation Systems
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Potential Fine: $19,300

Resolution Copper Mining, LLC
Location: Superior, AZ
Potential Fine: $21,000

Under the EPA's audit policy, the agency may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered through an audit or management system, promptly disclosed to the agency, quickly corrected, and satisfy other audit policy conditions. The policy excludes criminal acts, violations resulting in serious actual harm to public health or the environment, and repeat violations.

Under the EPA’s small business compliance policy, the EPA will eliminate or significantly reduce penalties for businesses with fewer than 100 employees that voluntarily discover violations of environmental law and promptly disclose and correct them.

Federal law requires certain facilities using chemicals over specified amounts to file annual reports to the EPA and the state that estimate the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site or transferred off-site for waste management. The information is then compiled into a national database called the Toxics Release Inventory and made available to the public.

More information about the audit policy can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html.

For more information on the small business policy, go to http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/smallbusiness/index.html.

To find information on the Toxics Release Inventory program visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri.

The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro.


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