We want to share a document with you from the Department for Environmental Protection and Kentucky’s Division of Enforcement because companies need to be informed about the Enforcement Branch to maintain the required environmental laws and understand how they are being enforced. From this document you can see that cutting corners will eventually cost your company BIG TIME. A lot of the environmental laws can be confusing, but being proactive instead of reactive and using services like ours at Environmental Risk Management, is your best bet to stay out of hot water with the enforcement branch.
Highlights from Report…
About the Kentucky Division of Enforcement
The Division of Enforcement (DENF), a division of Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP), consists of 3 units: the Director’s Office, the Civil Enforcement Branch (CEB), and the Compliance and Operations Branch (COB). Each of these units performs a distinctly different function within the Division. The Director’s Office is responsible for the overall management of the Division. This includes setting Division priorities for accomplishing Department goals, coordinating with all of KDEP’s divisions, and coordinating with management for KDEP and the Cabinet. View the report to better understand the divisions within DENF and how they may effect your operation.
Message from the Director
The Division of Enforcement has made significant accomplishments in FY 2013. Although the number of new case referrals into the Division has remained consistent, the overall active case load has decreased over recent years. The Division is gaining efficiency in case resolution as we approach parity between cases referred and cases completed. One of the key areas of effort within the Division in 2013 was in the resolution of enforcement cases in the coal mining industry. As part of the ongoing coal water quality initiative, Division staff members conducted compliance determinations through the review of over 74,000 discharge monitoring reports during FY 2013. These compliance determinations led to the referral of 180 new enforcement cases involving 22 coal companies. At the same time, the remaining obligations of the Division were met as staff members provided courteous and professional-level service to the program divisions and the regulated community. I am pleased to be a part of and proud to have the opportunity to lead the staff of the Division of Enforcement.
Successfully Resolved Enforcement Cases For Fiscal Year 2013
AK Steel Corporation
The United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky have reached a settlement with the AK Steel Corporation (AK Steel) in Ashland, Ky., resolving alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, AK Steel’s title V permit, and the Kentucky State Implementation Plan. Under the terms of settlement, AK Steel will pay a civil penalty of $1.65 million, of which $25,000 will be paid to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, for the alleged violations that occurred at AK Steel’s former coke production facility in Ashland. AK Steel shut down the coke plant on June 21, 2011. Coke is used as a carbon source and as a fuel to heat and melt iron ore at steel making facilities. Although AK Steel closed the plant involved in this enforcement action, AK Steel is currently operating the Ashland West Works facility a few miles away from the former coke plant. Under the agreement, AK Steel has agreed to spend at least $2 million on state projects to reduce particulate matter emissions at the Ashland West Works facility.
Eastern Kentucky University (EKU)
Eastern Kentucky University was cited for dumping illegal materials, including fluorescent light bulbs, trash, and construction demolition debris, at a site adjacent to their main campus. Groundwater samples taken at the site exceeded the maximum contaminant levels for Cadmium, Chromium, and Lead. EKU conducted cleanup and monitoring, with oversight by the DWM Superfund Branch. Based on compiled groundwater sampling data, Superfund issued a letter of completion to EKU on August 12, 2012. A Demand Letter was issued on August 31, 2012 and EKU paid a $5,000 civil penalty.
Esta Walters Lease/Gibraltar Kentucky Development LLC
Gibraltar Development operated a crude oil tank battery in Lawrence County. A release of crude oil impacted Sugar Tree Branch creek around November 2011. The Cabinet’s Environmental Response Team (ERT) responded and hired a contractor to conduct cleanup. The Division of Waste Management issued an NOV on January 19, 2012. The case was referred to Superfund for oversight and Gibraltar finished the remaining cleanup at the site. Superfund deemed the site remediated on January 24, 2013. Gibraltar went into bankruptcy, the case was referred to OLS, and the Cabinet received a cost recovery settlement in the amount of $137,088.63.
Ohio Valley Aluminum
Ohio Valley Aluminum is a secondary aluminum recycling facility located in Shelby County. They were issued multiple NOVs by the Division for Air Quality from 2006 through 2011 for violations of secondary aluminum MACT standard. Subpart RRR facilities were an EPA national priority and the case had a high degree of federal oversight. Ohio Valley developed a scrap monitoring plan, the first of its kind in the nation, and conducted a stack test to demonstrate compliance with dioxin/furan limits in November 2011. An Agreed Order, executed on June 19, 2012, assessed a civil penalty of $125,000 that was paid.
This case included nine (9) facilities cited for a wide range of underground storage tank violations. In 2009, the responsible party violated the terms of the Secretary’s Order. In February 2011, the Cabinet was awarded a Default Judgment in Franklin Circuit Court. In October 2011, the Cabinet was awarded a Contempt Order allowing DEP to chain the dispensers with the assistance of the Kentucky State Police. The chains remained on the pump nozzles until the responsible party corrected specified violations.
In June 2013, the Division of Enforcement was able to negotiate a final settlement with the responsible party resulting in a Second Amended Contempt Order filed in Franklin Circuit Court. The Order stated that the regulated entity shall pay ($65,000) in civil penalty and immediately remit ($6,290) in back tank fees.
Additionally, should the responsible party fail to return the facilities to compliance, and remain compliant for a period of (3) years, the Cabinet will have the on- going authority to chain and lock the dispensers and remove all of the product from all of the regulated entity’s active tank systems until all of the violations have been corrected.
About Environmental Risk Management
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Since 1989, Environmental Risk Management has been providing responsive, client focused 1-source turnkey solutions for a wide variety of environmental safety challenges. With our experience and extensive network of diverse internal and external resources, our clients trust us to provide quality Environmental & Safety Services for their businesses. Our environmental compliance specialists recognize the need to consult with private industry and the business community and our goal is to ensurer our client’s are complying with complex environmental regulations and minimizing their environmental liabilities.
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