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Environmental Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in environmental programs and policies. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Caught in the Crosshairs - Lone Star Organic Dairy

Posted  11/20/23
Cow in Grass Field
As described in a PETA press release last week (November 16), a whistleblower alerted the animal protection group to what it describes as "extreme animal suffering and mass deaths" at Texas dairy farm Lone Star Organic Dairy.  Lone Star has roughly 2,300 cows and supplies milk to Horizon Organic, the largest organic milk supplier in the country.  In response to the whistleblower's outreach, PETA sent a letter to the...

September 29, 2023

SMC Systems Inc., d/b/a Skyetec, has agreed to pay $2.35 million to resolve allegations of violating the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989.  Over a seven year period, Skyetec allegedly made false statements to the EPA regarding the results of inspections for the EPA’s Energy Star Home Certification Program, which verifies the presence and installation quality of a home's insulation.  DOJ

September 8, 2023

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals have agreed to pay $49 million to settle claims of unlawfully disposing hazardous medical waste and protected health information for 16 different facilities.  The misconduct violated California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law, Medical Waste Management Act, Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, Customer Records Law, Unfair Competition Law, and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  Under the settlement, Kaiser must also retain an independent third-party auditor to ensure Kaiser’s compliance with applicable laws.  CA AG

August 31, 2023

Tadano Ltd., a Japanese company, and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $40 million to resolve allegations of violating the Clean Air Act in connection with the sale and importation of nearly 300 diesel-engined cranes into the U.S. that failed to comply with federal emission standards.  In addition to the civil penalties, Tadano has agreed to contribute $3.2 million toward mitigating environmental harms caused by its cranes, including by replacing a diesel-engined tugboat with a cleaner tugboat near its factory in Texas.  DOJ

August 22, 2023

Zeaborn Ship Management (Singapore) PTE. LTD., Chief Engineer Constancio Estuye, and Captain Alexander Parreno have pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $2 million in civil penalties for dumping over 7,500 gallons of unprocessed oily bilge water overboard their ship, the Star Maia, in 2022, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.  Additionally, the defendants admitted that during the same time period, they also burned garbage in barrels on board the ship’s deck and threw the burned barrels into the sea.  DOJ

August 8, 2023

Mewbourne Oil Company has agreed to pay a $5.5 million penalty and spend at least $4.6 million on environmental projects to settle claims of violating the Clean Air Act and New Mexico state law.  A complaint filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Environment Department alleged the company failed to obtain required state and federal permits, capture and control air emissions, and comply with inspection, monitoring, and recordkeeping requirements from at least 2019 to 2022.  As a result, more than 11,000 tons of pollutants, including more than 9,900 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and 1,300 tons of methane, were released into the air each year.  DOJ

August 3, 2023

Food manufacturer FrieslandCampina, which makes dairy products, has agreed to pay more than $2.8 million to settle allegations of violating the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and New York state law through its air emissions and wastewater discharges into the Delaware River.  The company was found to have released excessive amounts of toluene into the air, which affects the human nervous system, immune system, and kidneys and livers.  It also failed to pre-treat wastewater or comply with the state’s rules concerning water runoff.  DOJ

July 25, 2023

Global Metallurgical, Inc. has agreed to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty for emitting air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and particulate matter at its ferroalloy production facility in Ohio.  According to the government, the company has a history of releasing excessive emissions, but also failed to proactively implement pollution control technology when expanding one of its furnaces.  DOJ

July 11, 2023

Fertilizer manufacturer J.R. Simplot Company has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty and implement waste management measures valued at $150 million in order to resolve allegations of failing to properly identify and manage hazardous waste streams at its Idaho plant, in violation of multiple environmental protection laws, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Clean Air Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know ACT (EPCRA).  Some of the required measures include recovering and reusing certain waste byproducts, ensure proper containment of waste products, replacing aging cooler towers with cooling ponds that would reduce emissions, and fund environmental mitigation work.  DOJ

July 7, 2023

National Grid has agreed to pay $5.38 million in connection with the release of hazardous chemicals into soil and groundwater surrounding a former gas plant in Massachusetts.  The plant operated for a century, ending in 1952, and yielded toxic byproducts such as oils, sludges, and tars, which have gone on to contaminate natural resources in the area.  DOJ
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