Recent EPA National Enforcement Initiatives

By Tracy Durham, Associate Account Executive

Beginning October 1, 2016 the EPA will update their National Enforcement Initiatives. These initiatives are updated every three years. These changes could impact regulations for your insureds’ businesses and provide opportunities to discuss pollution coverage with existing and new clients.

The upcoming initiatives focus on several areas:

  • Reduction of air pollutants from large industrial facilities like coal fired power plants, as well as acid, glass, and cement manufacturing facilities. The focus is on enforcing compliance for these risks when they are building new facilities or modifying their existing facilities.
  • Illegal and excess emissions related to leaks and flares from refineries, chemical plants, and other industries emitting hazardous air pollutants.
  • Reduction of releases at industrial and chemical facilities related to the manufacturing, use, and storage of hazardous substances. The EPA hopes to reduce the risks of accidents by improving prevention measures and response capabilities.
  • A return to base program regulations for pollution associated with Mineral Processing Operations.
  • Energy Extraction compliance with Environmental Laws. This focuses on domestic onshore natural gas extraction and production processes.
  • Keep raw sewage and contaminated stormwater out of waterways. The EPA plans to address combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows and separate storm water systems. It plans to do so via enforceable long term agreements, green infrastructure, and new pollution control technology.
  • A focus on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) with the goal of monitoring and identification of areas with impairments due to these operations. They will also promote new technologies to address the issues stemming from excess nutrients and animal waste pollution.

These new Enforcement Initiatives from the EPA, along with existing regulations on the state, federal, and local levels can impose responsibilities and restrictions on industrial, energy, and agricultural operations. Environmental insurance is a way to help manage some of these requirements and address potential pollution events in which the business owner is responsible for the cleanup, medical expenses of those injured, and damage to properties or waterways.

A Premises Pollution Liability policy, also known as EIL or Site Pollution, can help address pollution issues on, at, or migrating from the insured’s property. These policies can respond to the cost of managing ruptured storage tanks that hold waste, chemicals, or fuel located on the insured’s premises, as well as migration of chemicals and waste from the insured’s processes that can impact surrounding communities and waterways. Some of these policies now include medical monitoring as part of the Bodily Injury definition due to conditions that may be ongoing stemming from the injury or exposure to a pollution event.

Beacon Hill Associates, Inc. can assist you with insurance options to address these exposures. Information about the EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives can be found here, https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-enforcement-initiatives. You may contact Beacon Hill to discuss Premises Pollution or send us a submission for your insured to submissions@b-h-a.com.