SAN FRANCISCO – Fifteen California companies that voluntarily disclosed and corrected environmental violations have seen penalties waived by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s the result of an EPA policy that has been successful in getting companies to make good-faith efforts in self-policing their own environmental compliance.
The recent self-disclosure cases had potential penalties ranging from $8,700 to $459,000 for environmental violations that the agency determined caused no serious or actual harm to human health or the environment. Altogether, the 15 companies avoided $1,603,200 in penalties.
“This is a win for communities and for the EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Responsible businesses take it upon themselves to check for compliance and promptly disclose any environmental violations found. If they correct them quickly, these companies often see penalties reduced – in some cases to zero.”
In the cases announced today, each company discovered the violations of the Emergency Planning and Community-Right to-Know-Act on its own and reported the violations to the EPA. Because the companies satisfied all conditions of the EPA’s self-disclosure policies and there was no economic benefit gained, the EPA eliminated potential penalties.