EPA Says Happy Holidays in Their Own Way

In case you haven’t yet seen it, EPA wrapped up the year with three significant announcements.

First, the Agency published its 2009 compliance enforcement results.  The summary statistics are here.   A few points from their website

  • In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement and compliance program concluded civil and criminal enforcement actions requiring polluters to invest an estimated $5.4 billion to reduce pollution, clean up contaminated land and water, achieve compliance and fund environmentally beneficial projects. Civil and criminal defendants committed to reduce pollution by approximately 570 million pounds annually once all required controls are fully implemented.
  • Approximately 57% of pollution reductions and 71% of pollution control investments obtained through the Agency’s FY 2009 enforcement actions focused on water and air pollution priority problems.
  • In FY 2009, EPA opened 387 new environmental crime cases, the largest number of criminal case initiations in five years.

Second, EPA announced it has settled with Duke Energy to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act’s new source review requirements found at the company’s Gallagher coal-fired power plant in New Albany, Ind., located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky.   The lawsuit was filed in 1999.

Under the settlement, Duke will spend approximately $85 million to reduce air pollution at the plant through a combination of fuel switching and air pollution control equipment, $1.75 million on the civil penalty, and another $6.25 million on environmental mitigation projects.

The Duke settlement is the 17th settlement secured by EPA and DOJ as part of a national enforcement initiative targeting coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements.  See the press release.

Lastly, EPA announced it is delaying a decision on the regulatory determination for coal ash.  No timeframe or deadline was offered by EPA.  Read the press release.

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