EPA 2007 enforcement in Ohio benefits health and the environment
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 enforcement actions in Ohio in 2007 will reduce pollution by almost 40 million pounds and result in regulated entities spending more than $36 million on pollution controls to correct past environmental violations and help prevent future ones.
In the past fiscal year, EPA resolved 73 actions against regulated entities in Ohio and assessed a total of $3,422,302 in civil penalties for various air, water, hazardous waste, community right-to-know and pesticide violations. As part of settlement agreements, Ohio companies agreed to spend $546,085 on supplemental projects to benefit the environment.
“EPA regional enforcement actions in the last year will result in real health and environmental benefits,” said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. “EPA believes in firm and fair enforcement and working with our partners at Ohio EPA to ensure cleaner air, water and land for the people of Ohio.”
Among the most notable environmental actions in Ohio were:
* An administrative order issued to Cleveland Heights requiring it to improve its sewer system to address the problem of sanitary sewer overflows. Repairing and upgrading the system will eliminate discharges of 5.5 to 6 million gallons of raw sewage to waterways each year. Untreated sewage discharges can pose a threat to health and harm water quality.
* An agreement with Chevron USA Inc. to clean up contaminated ground water and monitor vapors near its former refinery outside Hooven. The company now monitors soil gas wells in Hooven and collects contaminated vapors under residential areas near the refinery. Since Nov. 2006, Chevron has pumped out more than 60,000 gallons of ground water contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons. The agreement protects the health of people living near the refinery, improves the quality of ground water and helps protect water quality in the Great Miami River.
* E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. has agreed to treat or provide alternate drinking water to residents in Ohio and West Virginia who live near its Washington Works facility if the level of perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C8, in their drinking water is equal to or greater than 0.50 parts per billion (ppb). The company is surveying an additional 1,900 homes in Ohio to determine whether additional private wells should be sampled for PFOA. The 0.50 ppb level is a temporary measure to reduce levels of PFOA exposure for residents while EPA completes research required for its PFOA risk assessment.
Region 5 coordinates with state environmental agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to enforce environmental laws. State agencies also have authority to pursue their own enforcement actions.
Nationwide, EPA enforcement resulted in a record $10.6 billion in pollution controls and environmental projects.
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