1. EPA HALTS SALE OF UNREGISTERED "SARS" PESTICIDE PRODUCT; 2. FIVE WINNERS RECEIVE THE 2003 PRESIDENTIAL GREEN CHEMISTRY CHALLENGE AWARDS; 3. NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BLACK MAYORS AND EPA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING; 4. REPORT VERIFIES DEEP REDUCTIONS IN EMISSIONS OF NITROGEN OXIDE DUE TO NORTHEASTERN PROGRAM; 5. NATIONAL CORRECTIVE ACTION CONFERENCE STRESSES MARKET FORCES IN CLEANING UP HAZARDOUS WASTE; 6. TWO COMPANIES; THREE FORMER EMPLOYEES SENTENCED IN FATAL WASHINGTON STATE GASOLINE PIPELINE EXPLOSION; Court orders $112 million in fines and safety improvements; 7. TEXAS PLATING COMPANY SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF CYANIDE SOLUTION; 8. TWO MEN AND REAL ESTATE PARTNERSHIP SENTENCED FOR ASBESTOS CRIMES IN VIRGINIA; 9. LOUISIANA MAN CONVICTED OF FAILING TO REPORT OIL SPILL AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JUNE 27. 2003
EPA HALTS SALE OF UNREGISTERED “SARS” PESTICIDE PRODUCT
John Millet 202-564-7842 / email@example.com
On June 25, the EPA ordered a stop to the sale of six unregistered pesticide products that two affiliated companies claim protect the public from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrom (SARS). EPA also requested a voluntary recall of these products from all locations within 30 days. The EPA orders were issued to: Phillips Technologies, LLC of Millersville, Md., for the illegal sale of the SARS Mask Set, SARS Travel Kit, Silver SARS Mask, Phillips Silver Mask, SARS Electrostatic Mask and Silver Spray and to SARS Research Labs of Tampa, Fla. for the same six products. All of these products claimed to kill pathogens, viruses -- including the SARS virus -- bacteria, and fungus. According to the Web site from which these products are offered, SARS Research Labs is an affiliate of Phillips Technologies, LLC. The order goes into effect immediately upon receipt by the company. EPA will be monitoring compliance with the orders and the companies’ voluntary recall. In addition, EPA will continue to examine advertisements on the Internet and other marketing avenues to ensure that no unregistered pesticides are illegally sold to the public. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act prohibits anyone from selling or distributing unregistered pesticides and authorizes EPA to issue orders stopping the sale of illegal products. EPA has an extensive pre-market registration process to ensure that pesticide products that claim to protect public health are effective. Products that make public health claims must be proven effective when used according to label directions.
FIVE WINNERS RECEIVE THE 2003 PRESIDENTIAL
GREEN CHEMISTRY CHALLENGE AWARDS
Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 / firstname.lastname@example.org
In recognition of innovative technologies that prevent pollution at the source of manufacturing and industrial processes, EPA announced five winners 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Green chemistry is the design of chemical and industrial processes that reduce or eliminate the use or release of hazardous substances. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 established a national policy to reduce pollution at the source, one of the most effective means of reducing costly and complicated clean-up of pollutants. An independent panel of technical experts selected the five winners after reviewing more than 70 nominations:
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BLACK MAYORS AND
EPA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Bonnie Piper 202-564-7836 / email@example.com
On Thursday, June 26, EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman and National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) President Harvey Johnson, Mayor of Jackson, Miss., signed the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a national state and local government association to strengthen their collaborative efforts to protect the nation’s natural resources. The National Conference of Black Mayors is an organization of more than 500 Mayors in 28 states and the District of Columbia, representing more than 20 million Americans. The MOU objectives include: improving communication; facilitating NCBM members Mayors’ input during the development and implementation of EPA’s regulations and national environmental policies; and conducting environmental workshops and forums in their municipalities. Other NCBM participants included Mayor Marilyn Murrell (Arcadia, Okla.), Immediate Past President; and Mayor Marcia Glenn (Lithonia, Ga.), First Vice President.
REPORT VERIFIES DEEP REDUCTIONS IN EMISSIONS OF
NITROGEN OXIDE DUE TO NORTHEASTERN PROGRAM
David Deegan, 202-564-7839
EPA, along with the multi-state membership of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), today released a report showing the continuing success of a market-based emissions trading program for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in the northeastern United States. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are a key ingredient in the formation of ground level ozone (smog), which can irritate the respiratory tract, impair breathing ability and cause various other respiratory problems. This emissions trading program, called the “Nox Budget Program,” is managed through a unique partnership between federal and state governments. The Ozone Transport Commission was created by Congress as part of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to better coordinate the efforts of northeastern states in reducing nitrogen oxide emissions, such as helping implement the Nox Budget Program when it began in 1999. During 2002, the fourth year of the program, more than 1,100 sources in nine participating states and the District of Columbia reduced NOx emissions 11 percent below allowable emission levels. NOx emissions are now approximately 60 percent below 1990 levels. The “2002 OTC NOx Budget Program Compliance Report” can be found at: http://www.sso.org/otc/ or http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/cmprpt/index.html The EPA's Acid Rain Program has been using a cap and trade emissions reduction strategy nationwide since 1995 to successfully control sulfur dioxide emissions. The OTC NOx Budget Program, however, is the first cap and trade program formed by a group of states and represents the first large-scale application of cap and trade to a problem beyond acid rain. The success of the OTC NOx Budget Program in reducing NOx in the Northeast is an important first step in efforts to reduce ambient ozone levels and supports the use of cap and trade mechanisms to control multiple pollutants over broad regions in the future. Further NOx reductions using the cap and trade mechanism have been proposed under various multi-pollutant legislative proposals, including the Administration’s Clear Skies Act, which would reduce sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants throughout the country.
NATIONAL CORRECTIVE ACTION CONFERENCE STRESSES
MARKET FORCES IN CLEANING UP HAZARDOUS WASTE
Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 / firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 24-25, EPA hosted the annual National Corrective Action Conference at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans, La. Participating companies include: BP, Chevron Texaco, ConocoPhillips, Crompton Corporation, Delphi Corporation, ExxonMobil, General Motors and Occidental Chemical Corporation. EPA’s Corrective Action program holds owners or operators of treatment, storage or disposal facilities responsible for investigating and cleaning up soil, ground water, surface water or air releases from their sites, regardless of when the releases occurred. Corrective Action is authorized by the Congressional Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which gives EPA authority to control the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA can be an effective tool in preventing future Superfund sites. At this year’s conference, Marianne Lamont Horinko, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, acknowledged companies that agreed to increase control of both contaminated groundwater migration and any unacceptable human health exposures at their facilities by 2005. Horinko also emphasized that the Corrective Action program is stressing voluntary compliance so that market forces will find the cheapest and most efficient solutions to today's environmental challenges. For more information, go to: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/ca/index.htm
John Millet 202-564-7842 / email@example.com
TWO COMPANIES, THREE FORMER EMPLOYEES SENTENCED
IN FATAL WASHINGTON STATE GASOLINE PIPELINE EXPLOSION;
Court orders $112 million in fines and safety improvements
On June 18, the U.S. District Court in Seattle ordered Olympic Pipeline Company (OPL) and Equilon Pipeline Corporation (EPC) to pay $51 million in criminal and civil penalties for a June 10, 1999 gasoline pipeline explosion that killed three people, released approximately 236,000 gallons of gasoline, and caused severe damage to two Bellingham, Wash., creeks. Three former OPL employees were also sentenced, and EPC’s parent company, Shell Oil, will spend $61 million to ensure the safety of its pipelines in the United States. This was the first criminal prosecution of pipeline companies and executives under the Federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act (FHLPA). The Court sentenced 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. EPC was ordered to pay a $15 million criminal fine, pay a $10 million civil fine, and EPC’s parent company, Shell, will develop a $61 million pipeline integrity program for its pipelines in the United States. The Court suspended $5 million of EPC’s criminal fine so that the money could be spent on community service projects in Bellingham. OPL previously pled guilty to felony violations of the FHLPA, the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Rivers and Harbor Act. EPC previously pled no contest to felony violations of the FHLPA and the CWA. This case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division and National Enforcement Investigation Center, the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Bellingham, Wash., Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
TEXAS PLATING COMPANY SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF CYANIDE SOLUTION
On June 18, in U.S. District Court in Texarkana, RTF Industries, Inc., located outside of Marshall, Texas, was sentenced to pay a $100,000 fine for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The defendant operated an electroplating facility and illegally dumped hazardous wastes including spent cyanide plating bath solutions and wastewater treatment sludge under a trailer located at a pyrotechnic facility which RTF Industries owned and operated next door to its plating facility. Cyanide wastes are highly toxic and can cause serious neurological injury and even death to individuals who come into contact with them. The case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texarkana.
TWO MEN AND REAL ESTATE PARTNERSHIP SENTENCED
FOR ASBESTOS CRIMES IN VIRGINIA
David Stephen Klein of Heathrow, Fla., and the Davold Real Estate Partnership of Staunton, Va., were sentenced on June 16, and Josef Gene Weiss, on-site supervisor for two Staunton, Va., asbestos removal projects conducted for Klein and Davold, was sentenced on June 17 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville for violating the Clean Air Act. All defendants previously pled guilty to illegally removing and/or disposing of asbestos from the Towne Center and another building in Staunton. Klein was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, 36 months of supervised release and to pay a $25,000 fine; Weiss was sentenced to 23 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release and to pay a $2,000 fine; and Davold was sentenced to pay a $200,000 fine and serve 24 months of probation. Klein, a medical doctor who previously ran clinics in the Shenandoah Valley, operated buildings in Staunton owned by the Davold Real Estate Partnership, which is a property management company. Homeless men and others were hired to remove asbestos from pipes and boilers. The workers were not trained in proper asbestos removal, not provided with proper safety equipment and were instructed to improperly dispose of the asbestos by dumping it at the Augusta County Landfill and various sites located in Staunton. Failure to use appropriate safety equipment and properly remove and dispose of asbestos can lead to the inhalation of asbestos fibers which is a 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 the Staunton, Va. Police Department with the assistance of the EPA Criminal Investigation Division and National Enforcement Investigations Center and EPA Region III. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlottesville and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
LOUISIANA MAN CONVICTED OF FAILING TO REPORT
OIL SPILL AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS
On June 13, in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, Murray C. Verret of Plaquemine, La., was convicted by a jury for violating the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act by failing to immediately report a spill of oil into Bayou Sorrel. The defendant was also convicted on two counts of providing false statements to the U. S. Coast Guard. Verret falsely told the Coast Guard that the oil had leaked from an unknown tank truck which had loaded oil into an unknown vessel that had used his dock. In addition, the defendant falsely denied that he had removed a diesel oil tank from his dock. Failing to report a discharge of oil into surface waters prevents clean-up activities which are designed to limit the ecological harm caused by oil spills to fish, wildlife and drinking water supplies. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge.
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Last Revised: 06/27/2003 02:28:53 PM