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EPA announces Nevada environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2006

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-947-4307

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions in Nevada for 2006 brought environmental and public health benefits for the state’s residents as polluters paid over $4 million to correct environmental violations and prevent future pollution.

The EPA invested approximately $2.25 million in Superfund monies to abate further environmental damage at the Anaconda mine site in Yerington. Over the past five years, the EPA has taken 95 enforcement cases in Nevada, netting more than $9.1 million in on-the-ground environmental improvements and nearly $1.4 million in fines.

“Enforcement actions in Nevada this year have helped to ensure that the states air, land, water and its citizens are protected from harmful environmental actions,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office. “EPA will continue working to enforce environmental laws and ensure compliance of environmental regulations to improve public health and protect the environment.”

This year, facilities in Nevada were brought into compliance with Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and federal pesticide regulations. Work conducted on these cases was done with support from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

2006 actions that helped ensure environmental compliance in Nevada include:

Clean Water Act
Union Pacific Railroad stormwater case – Flooding along Meadow Valley Wash and its tributaries washed out and undermined portions of the rail line in eastern Lincoln and Clark in January 2005. The EPA and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection inspected the area and found that Union Pacific had placed fill material and conducted other work in streams that was beyond the scope of emergency authorizations and without required storm water controls to protect against further damage. The EPA ordered Union Pacific to stop additional fill activities and repair damage to four areas along the streams that were unstable and restricted natural flows. Cost to clean up – Roughly $4 million

Bruce Industries and Medallic Art Co. wastewater case – Two Lyon County metal finishing businesses, Bruce Industries and Medallic Art Co. were ordered to monitor their respective wastewater discharges for cyanide, metals and oil and grease, and to treat discharge if necessary to comply with federal discharge limits. The requirements will remain in effect until Lyon County adopts a local sewer use ordinance and can issue its own sewer discharge permits. The discharge requirement is intended to protect the wastewater treatment plant from unanticipated pollution loading from industrial wastewater.

Clean Air Act
Tronox LLC formerly Kerr-McGee hazardous waste storage plan – As part of a new enforcement policy, the EPA offered Tronox LLC a reduced penalty after it acted quickly to update its risk management plan and pay a $1,400 fine. The Clean Air Act requires facilities using hazardous substances above certain quantities to develop chemical risk management plans to assess the potential effects of an accidental spill or release. The plan must also include an emergency response program that outlines procedures for informing

    the public and response agencies in the event of an accident. Plan updates were required by June 2004. Reduced fine to $1,400

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
Northern Nevada True Value Hardware selling cancelled pesticides – The U.S. EPA fined two northern Nevada True Value stores nearly $5,000 for selling residential pesticides that contain chlorpyrifos, a chemical that has been federally restricted since 2001. North Valleys True Value of Reno was cited for selling Greenthumb Flea & Tick Killer, and Shelly’s True Value of Sparks was fined for selling True Value Greenthumb Borer Spray II. Both products are designed for residential use and contain the cancelled pesticide chlorpyrifos. The EPA removed chlorpyrifos from the residential market due to its potential health risks, especially to children. Consumer may still legally use remaining stocks of chlorpyrifos products, provided they follow all label directions and precautions. Fine to Shelly’s $500, the North Valley case is headed for an administrative hearing

Intermountain Farmers Association improper distribution and sales of restricted pesticide – The EPA fined Salt Lake City-based association $5,200 for allegedly distributing and selling Fort Dodge Gopher Bait to a non-certified applicator in Yerington, Nev. Fort Dodge Gopher Bait, a restricted use pesticide, is used to control pocket gophers underground in rangeland, pastures, and non agricultural areas. The EPA classified certain pesticides that present significant human health or environmental hazards as restricted use pesticides in order to minimize risks to human and the environment. Restricted-use pesticide applicators required specific training and certification. Fine $5,200

Superfund response actions (with significant assistance from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection)
Anaconda Yerington Mine site mine tailings dust work – Beginning in April the EPA began work to cap soil at a 100-acre mine tailings area to prevent contaminated dust from blowing offsite. The sulfide tailings were considered an imminent and substantial threat requiring immediate action. Water trucks were run continuously to reduce dust during the work and air monitors have been set up around the work area to ensure dust was kept to a minimum. EPA cost of this action, $750,000

Anaconda Yerington Mine Site mine drainage ponds work – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted work at the Anaconda Mine site to construct and line heap leach evaporation ponds before the fall and winter rain season to prevent overflow of mine drainage. Work began in early September, draining the existing ponds, construction of a new 4-acre evaporation pond and prepping other ponds for repairs. Lining of the newly constructed 4-acre evaporation pond with heavy-gauge plastic liner was completed in early October. Repairs to other ponds were completed at end of October. EPA cost of this action, $1.5 million

Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/index.html for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2006. For information on the EPA’s national enforcement summary for 2006, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2006.html

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