EPA cracking down on Air Quality Violations

EPA Fining for Dirty Air

If you are a business, plant, whatever and have a lot of traffic/ trucks coming in and out of your lot stirring up dust then EPA might fine you as well. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the ARB (Air Resources Board) are working together in the fight for clean air.

The Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) is a federal law that passed in 1970 (last amended in 1990) for national air pollution control effort. The basic elements of the act include: hazardous air pollutants standards, state attainment plans, motor vehicle emission standards, stationary source emission standards and permits, acid rain control measures, stratospheric ozone protection, and enforcement provisions.

ARB mainly focuses on reducing emissions from a growing universe of emission sources which include: Mobile sources ex. commercial trucks, Goods Movement Sources ex. railroads, Gasoline, Diesel, and other fuels, and cargo tanks used to transport products, “Area” sources which individually emit small quantities of pollutants but collectively emit significant emissions, which include chemically formulated consumer products like aerosol coating products or indoor air cleaning devices.

The Air Resources Board also oversees air pollution control and air quality management districts in controlling air pollution caused by industrial sources, such as power plants. ARB’s regulation is the basic principle that the air quality goals can not be met unless compliance is achieved.

The Environmental Protection Agency comes and does some testing to see how the clean the air is, if it is not meeting the local standards the company will have to meet EPA’s recommendations. If they do not they will be fined.

EPA statement about Clean Air

Dust emissions are a public-health and environmental-health concern. Particles can settle in the lungs if breathed in and are associated with various health problems, EPA officials said.

The Air Resources Board continues to be the leader in the world development of innovative air pollution control strategies. This will help protect the public from illnesses caused by air pollution.

DiJulio Law Group

EPA Enforcement of the Clean Air Act

The EPA 1990 Amendments Made the Clean Air Act Enforceable

The 1990 Clean Air Act is the most recent version of a law first passed in 1970 to clean up air pollution. It also included protection of ecosystems, plants and animals from harm, as well as protecting against decreased visibility and damage to crops, vegetation, and buildings. In its original form, it was difficult for the Environmental Protection Agency to penalize a company for violating the Clean Air Act. An wider range of civil and criminal sanctions became available with the 1990 Amendments which greatly strengthened EPA’s power to enforce the Act.

These amendments give EPA important enforcement powers. If the EPA finds that a violation has occurred, it initiates an enforcement action when a person, industry, or other entity fails to obey environmental laws embodied within the Clean Air Act.

The EPA may take numerous enforcement actions

The agency can issue an order requiring the violator to comply. This is an informal action, and may consist of a notice of noncompliance or warning letter.

A formal administrative response, such as a legal order, may be issued.

The agency has administrative authority to force payment of a penalty via an administrative penalty order; or with a criminal judicial response which may include sanctions, fines, and/or imprisonment.

Another option is to bring a civil judicial action, such as a lawsuit, in the U.S. Court system.

The EPA may also disallow receipt of Federal contracts.

DiJulio Law Group represents clients in a wide variety of administrative and judicial enforcement matters. We often have obtained dismissal of claims or substantially reduced penalties. We have effectively defended many Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) enforcement actions. Our record of success includes many smaller companies in numerous air quality enforcement cases and other environmental problems.

DiJulio Law Group