The Chevron Corporation was notified this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is had compliance violations in 2012 related to a fire in California. Although no workers were injured in the fire, many residents in the area complained of and sought treatment for respiratory issues in the days following the fire.
When a company's operations could impact the environment and communities in which it has operations, they might be subject to many different environmental laws. These laws can often be difficult to comply with and sometimes compliance issues are the reason for citations from government agencies.
Fines for compliance issues and environmental law violations can be thousands of dollars for each day a company is found to not be in compliance and refuses to fix errors.
The company said in a news report that they would be committed to working with governmental agencies, and had paid restitution and provided aid to the community after the fire. They are currently being sued by the city and members fo the community surrounding where the fire took place.
Environmental compliance issues can result in a company facing criminal charges, as well as civil charges if the compliance issues are found to have contributed to environmental damage. An attorney can help a company understand the legal process surrounding environmental law compliance issues. While it is best to avoid compliance related citations, an attorney can help a company defend itself and protect the rights of the company if they are found to not be in compliance.
Source: Reuters, "US EPA cites Chevron for environmental violations from 2012 fire," Erwin Seba, Dec. 18, 2013