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EPA Region 6 Releases Year Review of 2020

Vipin Saini
Vipin Saini

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 recently released the 2020 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress over the past fiscal year.

EPA Region 6 Releases Year Review of 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 recently released the 2020 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress over the past fiscal year.

Regional Administrator Ken McQueen said “In the face of unprecedented challenges, the staff and management team of Region 6 showed ingenuity and dedication to produce impressive environmental benefits for communities across Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

2020 EPA accomplishments include:

Received the National Excellence in Performance Management Award for developing and directing a voluntary drinking water sampling initiative under the EPA 3T’s Guidance (Train, Tell and Take Action) to address lead exposure in Native American children, protecting more than 4,000 children from the harmful effects of lead exposure in drinking water.

Negotiated a judicial settlement in the largest Clean Water Act case in the country, with the City of Houston, Texas, regarding violations of its National/Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, involving 40 wastewater treatment plants and providing for a $4.4 million civil penalty and injunctive relief extending over the next 20 years.

Led the nation for the seventh year in RCRA enforcement actions and penalties with 38 percent of the nation’s actions, despite the inability to conduct onsite inspections for half of the year.

Lodged one of the largest sanitary sewer overflows settlement in the nation with the City of Corpus Christi, with an agreement from the city to pay a civil penalty of $1.14 million and implement injunctive relief costing $725 million over 15 years. 

Lodged a settlement with Churchill Downs, the largest EPA assessed penalty to a concentrated animal feeding operation facility with a $2.79 million penalty and $5.6 million innovative injunctive relief measures.

Concluded 24% of all enforcement actions in the nation, with 348 administrative enforcement actions and three judicial enforcement actions in FY20.

Reduced the backlog of new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to be issued by 66% and permits to be renewed by 50% and reviewed all NPDES permits for delegated states in a timely manner.

Accomplished 96 Brownfields assessments in FY20, exceeding the Government Performance and Results Act goal by 33 percent.

Awarded the New Mexico Environment Department’s first-ever Performance Partnership Grant including more than $1.6 million in federal funds for its Air, Public Water System Supervision, and Radon programs.

Led development of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group restoration plan, including three projects which will restore more than 1,300 acres of wetlands and incorporate more than 25 miles of linear protection measures, 12.5 miles of which will be oyster barrier reef.

Coordinated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and New Mexico Environment Department to identify significant emissions from oil and gas facilities in the Permian Basin through 153 off-site Partial Compliance Evaluations, reducing VOCs by 9.5 million pounds.

Completed a multi-year ambient air monitoring project in LaPlace, La., in the neighbourhoods surrounding the Denka Performance Elastomer Facility, LLC, collecting over 2,500 air samples from six locations and reducing emissions of chloroprene from the facility by 85 percent. 

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