September 30, 2014 10:38 AM ET

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Company Overview of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Company Overview

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops and enforces regulations for human health and environment protection. The agency researches and sets standards for environmental programs and delegates. The agency was founded in 1970 and is based in Washington, District Of Columbia with additional offices in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, and Florida.

Ariel Rios Building

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20460

United States

Founded in 1970

Phone:

202-272-0167

Key Executives for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Administrator
Age: 63
Head of Region Six
Assistant Administrator for Office of Research and Development and Science Advisor
Age: 61
Director of The office of Public Affairs - Pacific Southwest
Science Adviser
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2014.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Key Developments

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Reaches Settlement with the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with the U.S. Navy over alleged environmental violations at the Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Chesapeake, Va. The settlement will help reduce potentially harmful discharges and protect the public and environment from exposure to potentially harmful substances. Under the settlement over violations of the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Navy will pay a $49,500 penalty and implement procedures to ensure the proper handling of its hazardous wastes. The Clean Air Act violations pertained to regulations designed to reduce discharges of ozone-depleting substances used as coolants in air conditioning units. EPA alleged that the facility did not perform leak rate calculations when it serviced those units. In addition, EPA alleged that the facility did not have a CAA permit to operate a diesel-fired boiler, which meant that the boiler was not subject to required emissions limits. The RCRA violations pertained to regulations that require the safe, environmentally-sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste and prevention of spills from underground storage tanks. The Navy has upgraded its underground storage tanks, which should help protect waters in the nearby Great Dismal Swamp.

Trans Energy Inc. to Pay $3 Million Civil Penalty to Resolve Alleged Clean Water Act Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Justice announced a settlement with Trans Energy Inc., requiring the oil and gas company to restore portions of streams and wetlands at 15 sites in West Virginia polluted by the company's unauthorized discharge of dredge or fill material. Trans Energy will pay a penalty of $3 million to be divided equally between the federal government and WVDEP. The Clean Water Act requires a company to obtain a permit from EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to discharging dredge or fill material into wetlands, rivers, streams, and other waters of the United States. In addition to the penalty, the company will reconstruct impacted aquatic resources or address impacts at 15 sites, provide appropriate compensatory mitigation for impacts to streams and wetlands, and implement a comprehensive program to ensure future compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and applicable state law. Among other requirements, the company will work to ensure that all aquatic resources are identified prior to starting work on future projects in West Virginia, and that appropriate consideration is given at the design stage to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. It is estimated that Trans Energy will spend more than $13 million to complete the restoration and mitigation work required by the consent decree. The federal government and WVDEP allege that the company impounded streams and discharged sand, dirt, rocks and other materials into streams and wetlands without a federal permit to construct well pads, impoundments, road crossings and other facilities related to natural gas extraction. The government alleges the violations impacted approximately 13,000 linear feet of stream and more than an acre of wetlands. Filling wetlands illegally and damming streams can result in serious environmental consequences. Streams, rivers, and wetlands benefit the environment by reducing flood risks, filtering pollutants, recharging groundwater and drinking water supplies, and providing food and habitat for aquatic species. EPA discovered the violations in 2011 and 2012 through information provided by WVDEP and the public, and through routine field inspections. In summer 2014, the company conducted an internal audit and ultimately disclosed to EPA alleged violations at eight additional locations, which are also being resolved through this Consent Decree. The settlement also resolves alleged violations of state law brought by WVDEP.

Duke Energy to Retire Coal Operations at its W.C. Beckjord Station

Duke Energy announced it will retire the remaining coal-fired units, 5 and 6, at its W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio, effective Sept. 1. Due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's increasingly stringent regulations on power plant emissions, Duke Energy Ohio three years ago announced its intent to retire Beckjord Station's coal-fired units 1 through 6 -- totaling 862 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity -- by Jan. 1, 2015. Details were recorded in the company's 2011 Resource Plan filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Beyond those necessary for the transition to decommissioning, current Beckjord employees will be relocated to nearby Duke Energy Ohio plants. Four oil-fired combustion turbines (CT) on the site, which are capable of producing 244 MW of electricity and are primarily used for generating power during periods of high demand, are planned to continue operations. Also, certain substation and transmission or distribution electrical equipment will remain on site and in operation. Retirement of the Beckjord units are subject to approval by regulatory authorities and the grid operator. Beckjord unit 1 was retired in 2012; units 2 and 3 were retired in 2013; and unit 4 retired earlier this year. None of the units or operations at Beckjord, including these being retired, were part of the sales agreement recently announced with Dynegy.

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