News Releases By Date
1. EPA PROMOTES ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, 2. TWO DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION STANDARDS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT, 3. COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED TO OVERSEE THE PROGRESS OF THE 2007 DIESEL RULE, 4. INNOVATIVE RESEARCH TOOL DEMONSTRATES VALUE OF WATERSHED CONSERVATION, 5. EPA SPONSORS SIXTH NATIONAL TRIBAL CONFERENCE, 6. FORENSICS LABORATORY IN DENVER WINS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AWARD, 7. EPA SELECTS WETLANDS PHOTO WINNERS, 8. VIRGINIA RESIDENT SENTENCED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FRAUD CASE, 9. OWNER OF DEFUNCT MICHIGAN LAB SENTENCED FOR FRAUD, 10. EMPLOYEE OF NORTH CAROLINA BUSINESS SENTENCED, 11. THREE NEW YORK RESIDENTS PLEAD GUILTY, 12. NEW JERSEY COMPANY, THREE INDIVIDUALS PLEAD GUILTY, 13. GREEK SHIPPING COMPANY, CHIEF ENGINEER PLEAD GUILTY
Release Date: 05/16/2002
Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.
Luke C. Hester firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman today issued the Agency’s Position Statement on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The statement promotes broader use of the systems, which are effective management tools to help companies and other organizations fulfill their environmental responsibilities. The use of EMS complements needed regulatory controls and enables a facility to comprehensively manage the environmental footprint of its entire operation. This includes unregulated aspects such as energy, water use, climate change, odor, noise, dust, and habitat preservation. It encourages pollution prevention through source reduction and fosters continuous improvement of the facility’s environmental performance. EMS are viewed as a valuable tool for accomplishing EPA’s mission, because they apply a multi-media approach, help facilities assure compliance, and promote cost savings, operational efficiency and improved supplier performance. The position statement signed by the Administrator commits EPA to leading by example. The agency will implement EMS in its own facilities and operations, while encouraging widespread use of EMS across other institutions and organizations. The Agency is also working with state and local governments to promote EMS. In addition, the agency will support training and research on the costs and benefits of the systems.
AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
David Deegan email@example.com
The Environmental Data Standards Council (EDSC), an initiative to develop and exchange reliable environmental data among states, native American tribes and EPA, has developed draft standards on two issues that are being released for public review and comment. The draft standards involve Reporting Water Quality Results for Chemical and Microbiological Analyses and Exchange of Tribal Identification Information. These draft data standards, developed by representatives from EPA, states and tribal communities serving on the Council, are intended to improve the quality of environmental data exchanged among partners, as well as assisting secondary users of data to interpret and use data accurately. Following the public review and comment period, which ends on June 28, the Council representatives will review all comments and will recommend appropriate changes to the draft standards prior to adoption. Additional information on these proposals is available at: http://www.epa.gov/edsc/announcements.htm . Additional information on the EDSC is available at: http://www.epa.gov/edsc/index.htm .
Cathy Milbourn firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA has convened a panel to review the progress of industry in meeting the requirements of the 2007 clean diesel program. This program will help achieve public health benefits through the introduction of diesel trucks and buses that cause less pollution. To ensure that industry is making progress toward the program's implementation, a panel will
operate under the auspices of the Federal Advisory Committee Act as a Subcommittee of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. This panel, called the Clean Diesel Independent Review Panel, will provide independent advice to the EPA on industries' progress in developing and demonstrating technologies that will be used to reduce engine exhaust emissions and to lower the sulfur level of highway diesel fuel. EPA and the Department of Energy will serve as technical consultants to the panel. All panel meetings will be open to the public. The first meeting of the Clean Diesel Independent Review Panel is scheduled for May 23, 2002. The meeting will be held at The Old Town Holiday Inn Select, 480 King St., Alexandria, Va. An agenda for the May 23 meeting and information about future meetings will be posted soon at http://www.epa.gov/air/caaac/clean_diesel.html . The review panel is composed of leading experts from the public health community, petroleum refiners, fuel distributors and marketers, engine manufacturers, emission control systems manufacturers and state governments. The panel will hold meetings, analyze issues, conduct reviews, make necessary findings and undertake other activities necessary to meet its responsibilities. The panel has been requested to produce a final report by the panel charter's expiration date of Sept. 30, 2002.
David Deegan email@example.com
EPA recently released a study that demonstrates the benefits of watershed-wide conservation practices. The study, titled “A Landscape Assessment of the Catskill/Delaware Watersheds (1975-1998): New York City's Water Supply Watersheds,” represents the conclusion of three years of research that used an innovative approach of combining elevation data and satellite images to assess the lands of the Catskill/Delaware watersheds. Using these techniques allowed 23-years of changes in the relationships between landscape and water quality to be analyzed, enabling evaluation of the effectiveness of a land management approach to water quality protection. The study provides information that can aid regional and local land managers, policy makers and the general public in making informed decisions on environmental and water resource issues. The data analyses will also help guide future use of land cover and use practices to maintain water quality. EPA expects that this innovative use of historical data and satellite imagery will become a valuable tool to assess the condition of other watersheds. For additional technical information or for a copy of the report, contact Megan Mehaffey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA SPONSORS SIXTH NATIONAL TRIBAL CONFERENCE
Robin Woods email@example.com
EPA is sponsoring the sixth National Tribal Conference on Environmental Management, June 4-7, at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel in Sparks, Nev., located 35 miles northeast of Reno. This year’s tribal co-host is the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. The conference provides an opportunity for tribal leaders and tribal organizations, federal agencies and other people interested in tribal environmental issues to discuss issues of vital interest in Indian Country. Sustainability and intergovernmental coordination are focus areas for the conference. Topics will include building tribal environmental programs, water quality, mining, clean air, environmental justice, youth (education), waste issues, energy, coordination among tribal-related entities, financing environmental projects and science (monitoring, modeling, research and analysis). The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe will offer off-site tours and workshops as part of the conference, including trips to their tribal fisheries and sites around Lake Tahoe, in coordination with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. The goal of the conference is to provide information, education and networking resources. The conference registration deadline is May 22. There is a $100 per person registration fee. To register, call Lela Leyva, Conference Coordinator for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, at 775-574-1000, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC) has received the Excellence in Government Award for Quality Improvement for 2002 for federal agencies in the state of Colorado. The overall excellence of the center was hailed, especially its measurement, sampling and analytical work, investigations and expert witness testimony. The selection also was based on the center's quality improvement program conducted over three years, resulting in accreditation from the National Forensics Science and Technology Center. The NEIC The award, bestowed by the Denver Federal Executive Board, is earned through a competitive nomination and panel review process which is open to all federal agencies in the state of Colorado. The NEIC, a division of the Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, is located in Lakewood, Colo. It provides technical and forensic laboratory support to EPA’s criminal and civil enforcement and compliance assurance programs.
Robin Woods email@example.com
Elinor Osborn of Penfield, N.Y., is the grand prize winner in EPA's first photography contest that showcased wetlands. Her stunning photo of a black tern feeding its chick was displayed during the 2002 National Wetland Awards Ceremony at the U. S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on May 16 (see photos at:
http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/photocontest.html) . More than 300 contestants submitted photos depicting the different functions of wetlands, such as providing flood water storage and pollutant removal. Osborn’s photo was taken at an “Audubon Important Bird Area” and illustrated how wetlands provide valuable habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people. Finalists in the contest were: Michael Corey, Minerva, N.Y.; Anneke Davis, Baltimore, Md.; Dennis Demcheck, Baton Rouge, La.; Florida Power and Light, Juno Beach, Fla.; Jim Newton, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Jay O’Brien, Philadelphia, Pa.; Margaret Saint Clair, Redmond, Wash.; and Ralph Tramontano, Jamestown, N.D. Their photos will be used to illustrate the functions and values of wetlands in an EPA poster. Those receiving honorable mention were: Mark Bright, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Dennis Daughiny, Orlando, Fla.; Matt Gianetta, Carmel, N.Y.; Barbara Jansen, Madison, Wis.; Shawn Kelly, Oxnard, Calif.; Barbara Keywood, Laurel, Md.; Greg Kidd, Madison, Wis.; Tim Krohn, Cloquet, Minn.; Melinda Knutson, LaCrosse, Wis.; Laurie Machung, Valhalla, N.Y.; James McIntyre, Salt Lake City, Utah; Don Paulson, Seabeck, Wash.; Robert Perron, Brandford, Conn.; Arthur Popp, Scranton, Pa.; John Synder, Refugio, Tex.; Cheryl Wapnick, Dauphin Island, Ala.; and Shawn Weick, Onalaska, Wis. The grand prize winner, finalists and honorable mentions each received certificates of appreciation. Additional information on wetlands is available at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/ .
Luke C. Hester firstname.lastname@example.org
VIRGINIA RESIDENT SENTENCED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FRAUD CASE
Franklin D. Sales of Williamsburg, Va., was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $280,000 in restitution to victims of his recycling fraud scheme on May 8. Sales previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to a federal agency in connection with a false recycling scheme. The defendant owned and operated Consolidated Recycling Inc. (CRI), a New Hampshire firm which purported to be in the business of recycling fluorescent bulb and lighting ballast waste. Sales accepted light bulb and light ballast wastes that included mercury and
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from school districts and government agencies in Colorado, New York, North Carolina and Ohio. The defendant falsely claimed that CRI had the equipment to recycle the wastes, but instead collected, stored and abandoned wastes at locations in Hollis and Merrimack, N.H., and in Fitchburg, Methuen and Tyngsboro, Mass. Mercury is a highly toxic substance that can cause severe neurological damage and PCBs have been identified as a cause of cancer. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of EPA's Region I, EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Concord, N.H.
Jerry Martin of Novi, Mich., was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison and pay $16,781 to defrauded customers on May 2 for using the U.S. Mail to send his customers falsified laboratory reports. Martin was the owner of Martin Environmental Laboratories Inc., (MEL) in Lavonia, Mich., which is now out of business. MEL was also a defendant and was fined $5,000. The defendants provided customers with false test reports that indicated samples registered “non-detect” for the presence of volatile organic compounds, when in reality, MEL’s laboratory was unable to do the tests. Providing false laboratory reports can expose people to pollutants and create a public health hazard. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Ann Arbor, Mich., with assistance from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Theodore Arthur Searcy, an employee of Quarter Master, an auto parts cleaning business located in Kernersville, N.C., was sentenced to serve eight months in prison, pay $4,809 in restitution to the Winston Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and serve 12 months supervised probation on April 25. He violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally storing hazardous waste. Quarter Master cleaned auto parts associated with racing cars by dipping the parts into vats of nitric acid. Searcy transported approximately 70 drums of waste acid from the vats to a barn in Kernersville and other locations in Guilford and Randolph counties where it was illegally stored. The soils in and around the barn were tested and found to be highly acidic, possessing a pH of less than two. The barn was located across from Kernersville Middle School. (Soils which are highly acidic can produce significant burns when they come into contact with a person’s skin.) The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office with technical assistance from EPA's Region 4 and the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Greensboro.
Three residents of New York state, Gary Alvord of Niskyuna, Anthony Mongato of Gloversville and Robert O’Brey of Scotia pleaded guilty on April 26. Each defendant admitted to participating in a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and Toxic Substances Control Act and to violating the Clean Air Act by not following federal workplace standards for asbestos removal. Mongato and Alvord also pleaded guilty to making false statements. The defendants were previously indicted as part of a larger case involving the illegal removal of asbestos in upstate New York at multiple locations over a 10 year period. When sentenced, Alvord faces a maximum sentence of up to 25-years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1.25 million and Mongato and O’Brey each face up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $750,000. Federal workplace practices are required to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne, because the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers by workers is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Postal Service and the New York State Office of Inspector General. Investigative assistance was provided by the New York State Department of Labor, the New York State Department of Health and EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Syracuse.
NEW JERSEY COMPANY, THREE INDIVIDUALS PLEAD GUILTY
Spartan Environmental Remediation Barons Inc. of Sparta, N.J., and three of its employees, Stevo Bubalo, Ruben Latorre and Jose Sandoval all pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act on April 23. Spartan had a sub-contract to remove asbestos-containing materials from seven buildings at the Military Ocean Terminal-Bayonne in Bayonne, N.J. The defendants admitted that they conspired to remove asbestos-containing material without following federally-required asbestos workplace practices. Federal workplace practices are required to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne, because the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers by workers is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. When sentenced, each individual defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Spartan faces maximum fines of up to $500,000 when sentenced. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center and EPA's Region II. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark.
Ionia Management, S.A., a Greek shipping company with offices in Piraeus, Greece, and Christos Kostakis, chief engineer aboard the tanker Alkyon, each pleaded guilty on May 7 to covering up ocean dumping of waste oil by making false entries in the Alkyon’s oil record book and presenting the falsified oil record book to the U.S. Coast Guard in the course of an inspection. That inspection revealed that a bypass pipe had been used to bypass the oil water separator on the Alkyon. This was not reflected in the oil record book. The oil record book is a ship’s log that records the operation of the ship’s oil-water separator which is a pollution control device that prevents the ship from discharging wastewater that contains oil in concentrations greater than 15 parts per million. Discharging water which has oil concentrations above 15 parts per million can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life. When sentenced Kostakis faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Ionia Management faces a maximum fine of up to $500,000 when sentenced. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York in New York City.
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