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Environmental Enforcement Roundup: Clean Water Act, Lead Hazards

Here’s a roundup of the latest Environmental Enforcement stories:

Montana’s Bar One Ranch will pay a penalty of $275,000 and complete the restoration of 13.9 acres of wetlands and streams in Missoula County, Mont., to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it violated the Clean Water Act.

According to the EPA’s claims, in October 2003 the ranch began extensive construction along the southern bank of Ninemile Creek, a perennial stream that flows into the Clark Fork River and a renowned trout fishery. During construction activities, the wetlands were destroyed and millions of pounds of sediment were discharged in violation of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, Bar One Ranch violated the terms of a general storm water permit issued by the State of Montana.

The EPA has fined Martin Operating Partnership LP of Beaumont, Texas, $48,700 for violating regulations on spill prevention and cleanup contained in the Clean Water Act.

An inspection of oil storage and distribution terminals located in Beaumont revealed the facility’s plans did not conform to the regulations, failed to describe procedures for the management of drainage from certain storage areas, and did not describe whether buried piping is present at the facilities, and if so, whether the piping is corrosion-protected, the EPA said.

Three officials of Ecological Systems Inc., an oil reclamation company that operated a centralized waste treatment facility in Indianapolis, have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecution stemmed from ESI’s intentional discharges of untreated wastewater and storm water from its facility directly into the city’s sewer system.

Former operations manager Mike Milem, former lab manager Mark Snow and former operations manager and executive vice president Joe Biggio were each fined between $15,000 and $5,000 and sentenced to community service. Some of the community service requires the men to give lectures on the case and the convictions to graduate students seeking degrees in business management.

In addition, all three defendants are prohibited from applying for any environmental license or employment in the environmental field without disclosing their felony convictions to any such licensing board or prospective employer.

Window World of St. Louis Inc. has agreed to pay a $19,529 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify owners and occupants of at least 20 St. Louis area residential properties built before 1978 of lead-based paint risks, prior to performing renovation work at those locations.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by the EPA’s Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., the window replacement company, located in Maryland Heights, Mo., was legally required to provide owners and residents of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before starting renovations at the properties.

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