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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Roquette $4m Fine, Climate Tax, Wind PTC

Roquette America Inc. has agreed to pay a $4.1 million civil penalty to settle more than 1,000 alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit at its grain processing facility in Keokuk, Iowa, the EPA and the DOJ said. In addition to paying the penalty, Roquette will complete other required improvements valued at more than $17 million, to further protect the Mississippi River and Soap Creek.

The entire House GOP leadership team has registered its opposition to climate legislation as a revenue generator. The Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity pointed out that GOP lawmakers are among the signers of the group’s “no climate tax” pledge. Earlier this week, a senior Treasury Department official said that a carbon tax might be considered if Republicans brought it forward, The Hill reports.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, proposed that Congress extend a wind power tax credit for one year, with the condition tax reform discussions next year lead to a plan for its gradual phaseout. The cost for a one-year extension is about $5 billion. Murkowski’s committee does not have jurisdiction over the credit, The Hill said.

Yuan Cheng International Group and NST, Inc. in Montclair, Calif., have reached a settlement with the EPA and the DOJ for allegedly importing and selling vehicles and engines from China in violation of Clean Air Act requirements. The settlement resolves allegations that, between 2006 and 2011, the now dissolved companies imported and introduced into commerce 17,521 vehicles and engines without proper EPA certifications. Penalties total $300,000, the EPA said.

The owners of the Sellafield nuclear waste site face charges from British regulators, based on allegations of illegal dumping of radioactive waste. The nine charges relate to the dumping of low-level waste in a landfill in 2010, the latest in Sellafield ‘s history of complaints, Reuters said.

The EPA announced 16 enforcement actions against 16 companies for violations of the lead-based paint renovation, repair and painting rule. The enforcement actions include 13 administrative settlements and 3 filed administrative complaints, and the agency assessed a total of $53,792 in civil penalties in the settlements. In the three administrative complaints, the agency said it seeks civil penalties up to the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation.

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