UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
In accordance with Section 311(b)(6)(c) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(C), and 40 C.F.R. § 22.45 of the Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits (“Consolidated Rules”), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is providing notice of a proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment against National Feed Commodities, Inc., a business located at 1629 Highway 69, Atchison, Kansas 66002, for alleged violations at the facility located at the same address. The Respondent is engaged in storing, processing, and distributing “oil” or oil products (soy and assorted vegetable oils and oil products) at the Facility.
Under Section 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii), the EPA is authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for various violations of the Clean Water Act. The EPA may issue such orders after filing a Complaint commencing either a Class I or Class II penalty proceeding. The EPA may also simultaneously commence and conclude an action pursuant to Rules 22.13(b), 22.18(b)(2), and 22.18(b)(3) of the Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. §§ 22.13(b), 22.18(b)(2), and 22.18(b)(3). The EPA provides notice of the proposed assessment of a Class II civil penalty pursuant to 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii). Class II proceedings are conducted under the EPA’s Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. Part 22.
In this case, the EPA alleges that Respondent has violated Sections 311(b)(3) and 311(j) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1321(b)(3) and 1321(j), and regulations promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the EPA alleges that on or about July 29, 2016, a 20,000-gallon tank containing soybean oil at the facility failed and released an estimated 10,000 gallons oil. The spill traveled east, downgradient, to White Clay Creek, in violation of the prohibition against discharges of oil to waters of the United States set forth in Section 311(b)(3) of the CWA. Additionally, the EPA alleges that the facility failed to fully prepare and implement a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan, in violation of Section 311(j) of the CWA and 40 C.F.R. Part 112. Respondent has reached agreement with the EPA on the terms of a proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order which would resolve this matter, and pursuant to 40 C.F.R 22.18, the EPA proposes to commence and conclude a “Class II” penalty enforcement action pursuant to the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order. Under the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, Respondent will pay a civil penalty of $100,000. Final approval of the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order is subject to the requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 22.45.
The EPA will receive written comments on the proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice. All such comments shall be submitted to the Regional Hearing Clerk at the address provided below. The procedures by which the public may submit written comments on a proposed Class II order or participate in a Class II proceeding, and the procedures by which a respondent may request a hearing, are set forth in the Consolidated Rules. Persons wishing to obtain additional information on the proceeding, receive a copy of EPA’s Consolidated Rules, review the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, comment upon the proposed penalty assessment, or otherwise participate in the proceeding should contact Regional Hearing Clerk, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. Please reference Docket No. CWA-07-2019-0002. For Technical questions contact Wilfredo Rosado-Chaparro, Chemical & Oil Release Prevention Branch, at Rosado-Chaparro.Wilfredo@epa.gov, at the above mailing address or by phone to (913) 551-7944. Persons with legal questions may contact Howard Bunch, Office of Regional Counsel, at Bunch.Howard@epa.gov, at the above mailing address or by phone to (913) 551-7879. In order to provide opportunity for public comment, the EPA will issue no final order assessing a penalty in this proceeding prior to forty (40) days from the date of this notice.