1. AWARDS GIVEN FOR SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS IN PESTICIDE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, 2. EPA’S OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS DIRECTOR NAMED, 3. EPA SCIENTIST RECEIVES OUTSTANDING RISK PRACTITIONER AWARD, 4. VIRGINIA SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT OWNER SENTENCED FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATION, 5. NORTH CAROLINA OIL REFINERY AND THREE INDIVIDUALS PLEAD IN OIL POLLUTION/TAX EVASION CASE, 6. OVER $100 MILLION IN FINES AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS FOR FATAL WASHINGTON STATE GASOLINE PIPELINE EXPLOSION
Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need more
information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.
AWARDS GIVEN FOR SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS IN
PESTICIDE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Dave Deegan firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) has selected 18 members of the program as “PESP Champions” of 2002. The Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that forms partnerships with pesticide users to reduce the health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use and implement pollution prevention strategies. The Champions were selected based on their outstanding efforts promoting integrated pest management (IPM) and toward advancing pollution prevention. They are also being honored for their extraordinary level of commitment to protecting human health and the environment. The PESP Champions employed most or all of the following IPM strategies to reduce the health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use: sampling to accurately determine pest population levels; training and demonstrating IPM practices; controlling or managing pests through biologically-based technologies; employing cultural practices such as crop rotation or removing food and habitat for structural pests; applying less toxic or reduced-risk pesticides such as insect growth regulators; and using conventional pesticides only when absolutely necessary. The 18 PESP Champions are: American Pest Management Inc., California Dried Plum Board, California Melon Association, Cranberry Institute, Gerber Products Co., Glades Crop Care Inc., Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, Low Input Viticulture and Enology of Oregon, Massey Services Inc., Michigan Cherry Committee, Monroe County School Corp., National Grape Cooperative, New York City Board of Education, Northeast Utilities, Pineapple Growers Association of Hawaii, U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Pest lineManagement Board and U.S. Hop Industry Plant Protection Committee. PESP was established in 1994 with 10 charter partners; today there are more than 130 members nationwide. For more information on EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program, see: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/PESP/ .
EPA’S OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS DIRECTOR NAMED
Wanda Loving email@example.com
On Dec. 15, Karen D. Higginbotham was named as Director of the Office of Civil Rights. She had been serving as Acting Director of the Office since July 2001 and under her leadership, there has been a significant reduction in the backlog of Title VII discrimination cases and improvement of the office’s special emphasis programs. Karen joined the Agency in September 1993 as a branch chief in the Superfund Division of the Office of Acquisition Management. Prior to joining the EPA, she served more than 10 years in key management positions within the Department of the Navy’s Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Karen received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Maryland and is the recipient of numerous Agency and federal government awards.
EPA SCIENTIST RECEIVES OUTSTANDING
RISK PRACTITIONER AWARD
Suzanne Ackerman firstname.lastname@example.org
William H. Farland, Ph.D., Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, was presented the Society of Risk Analysis (SRA) Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award for the year 2002. SRA is an international society that promotes the use of risk analysis to examine risks to human health and the environment. Risk analysis is a important tool for EPA environmental decision-making, as it provides estimates of adverse effects from exposure to a chemical or pollutant. As Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, Dr. Farland oversaw the conduct of risk assessments for specific chemicals that were applied to major EPA regulations, the development of Agency-wide guidance on risk assessment and the conduct of research to improve risk assessment. Dr. Farland is a member of the editorial boards for the “Risk Analysis and Environmental Health Perspectives” publications. He also teaches in affiliation with Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University and George Washington University.
Teresa Libera email@example.com
VIRGINIA SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT OWNER SENTENCED
FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATION
Robert Gill of Hopewell, Va., was sentenced on Dec. 9 to serve two years in prison and repay the state of Virginia and Isle of Wight County $146,000 in restitution. The sentence, issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, is the result of a guilty plea in which Gill admitted to violating the Clean Water Act in 1999. Gill is the owner of DLG Public Utility Corp. Inc., which operated a sewage treatment plant that serviced the Queen Anne’s Court housing development in Benn’s Church, Va. Gill, who was the sole worker at the facility had a permit to release treated wastewater into Jones Creek, which is a tributary of the Pagan River. However in April 1999, Gill ceased coming to work and did not hire a replacement operator, which led to raw sewage being released into Jones Creek. Failing to operate a sewage treatment facility can lead to the pollution of surface waters and make them unfit for fish, wildlife and recreational purposes. In a prior case in 1996, Gill was sentenced to 30 days home confinement, a $2,500 fine and $1,815 in restitution by the federal district court in Norfolk for falsifying laboratory reports required under the Clean Water Act. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Norfolk.
NORTH CAROLINA OIL REFINERY AND THREE INDIVIDUALS PLEAD
IN OIL POLLUTION/TAX EVASION CASE
High Rise Services Co. Inc., of Leland, N.C., and three individuals: Andrew Jackson Simmons, Jr., of Wilmington, N.C.; Anthony Paul Norris of Leland, N.C.; and Terry Ray Hill of Rocky Point, N.C., all pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Wilmington. The federal charges related to the operation of High Rise’s business of re-refining used oils into useable products and cleaning storage tanks. High Rise plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act, the unlawful discharge of oil onto the shoreline and into surface waters, and improper storage of used oil. When sentenced, the company could receive a maximum fine of $2 million or twice the gain that resulted from the violations. The plea also calls for the company to pay restitution, publish a public notice of violation, make public speeches regarding its violations, develop a compliance program and conduct annual training for management and staff. Simmons plead guilty to the negligent discharge of oil, failing to report a spill and tax evasion. When sentenced, he could receive a maximum sentence of up to 16 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $850,000. Norris plead guilty to the negligent discharge of pollutants and making false statements to the Coast Guard. When sentenced, he could receive a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $350,000. Hill plead guilty to tax evasion and when sentenced, could receive a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000. Releasing oil into surface waters can make the waters unfit for recreation and drinking and can cause significant harm to fish and wildlife. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, the U.S. Coast Guard Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Investigative assistance was provided by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
OVER $100 MILLION IN FINES AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS FOR FATAL
WASHINGTON STATE GASOLINE PIPELINE EXPLOSION
On Dec. 11, the Olympic Pipeline Co. (OPL) and the Equilon Pipeline Corp. (EPC), which is owned by Shell Oil Co. – along with individuals Frank Hopf of Woodlands, Texas; Ron Brestson of Kent, Wash.; and Kevin Dyvig of Buckley, Wash., all plead guilty to federal charges in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle. They each had alleged roles in a June 10, 1999, gasoline pipeline explosion that caused three fatalities, released approximately 236,000 gallons of gasoline and caused serious environmental damage in Hannah Creek and Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, Wash. OPL agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the Federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act (FHLPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Rivers and Harbor Act. EPC agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the FHLPA and the CWA. Hopf and Brentson agreed to plead guilty to felony violations the FHLPA and Dyvig agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the CWA. The plea agreement calls for OPL to pay a $6 million criminal fine, a $5 million civil fine, spend approximately $15 million ensuring the safety of its pipelines in Washington State and serve five years’ probation. Under the agreement, EPC will pay $15 million in criminal fines, $10 million in civil fines and EPC’s parent company, Shell, will develop a $61 million pipeline integrity program for its pipelines in the United States. With total criminal and civil fines combined, this is the largest pipeline case ever brought in the United States. When sentenced, Hopf and Brentson each face a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Dyvig faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine, when sentenced. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Bellingham, Wash., Police Department. Investigative assistance was provided by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle.
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