Posted in Insights on July 28, 2016
The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the federal law enacted to nationally control air pollution and emissions from stationary and mobile sources. It was originally passed in 1973 and amended in 1990. It is a United States federal law designed to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of air pollution.
With a few exceptions, federal facilities, like nongovernmental entities, are subject to the same restrictions and requirements of the CAA, and must comply with all federal, state, interstate, local and tribal CAA regulations, administrative authorities and sanctions. Federal entities must also cooperate with all federal, state, local and tribal inspections.
Violations of the Clean Air Act are punishable by fines and even criminal prosecution. DEQ is very direct regarding the seriousness of these regulations and their dedication to enforcement.
Here is the portion of the Clean Air Act relating to the assessment of penalties and criminal enforcement:
Assessment of Penalties against Federal Facilities
EPA may assess civil administrative penalties of up to $37,500 per day, per violation against federal agencies for noncompliance. The total penalty cannot exceed $295,000 unless EPA and the Department of Justice determine a greater penalty is appropriate. EPA may also issue field citations against federal facilities. A field citation up to $7,500 per day per violation may be assessed in these cases, and are generally issued for minor infractions. (Read more: CAA Stationary Source Civil Penalty Policy, 1991.)
When assessing penalties against federal facilities for noncompliance, EPA follows its guidance Implementation of EPA’s Penalty/Compliance Order Authority against Federal Agencies Under the Clean Air Act (CAA) Penalty assessment amounts have been adjusted for inflation since the 1990 CAA amendments.
In addition to issuing orders, negotiating compliance agreements, and assessing civil penalties, EPA may seek sanctions against individual employees of federal facilities for criminal violations of the CAA. Fines and punishment, including imprisonment, for several types of criminal violations are specified in the CAA. A person who has been convicted of a criminal offense may also be barred from receiving federal government contracts, loans, and grants.