February 09, 2001

The FAA has proposed to assess a civil penalty of $84,000 against World Courier, Inc., of New Hyde Park, New York, for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.

FAA alleged that World Courier received a properly-declared shipment of dangerous goods (Infectious Substance Affecting Humans called "Aspergillus," a fungus) shipped from Thailand through Tokyo to New York's JFK International Airport last May 11.

World Courier then, according to FAA, placed the shipment in a yellow courier bag, labeled "WORLD COURIER HOLD AT AIRPORT FOR PICK-UP". World Courier declared the hazardous material shipment "Medical Shipment -- Ambient Non-Hazardous, Non-Dangerous," contrary to the original and correct labeling. FAA alleged that the company also failed to provide and maintain emergency response information while the shipment was in transit.

The shipment was transported on an American Airlines passenger-carrying flight from La Guardia Airport, New York to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Texas and then on to San Antonio International Airport. An American employee in San Antonio discovered that the shipment was hazardous material and notified the FAA.

FAA alleged World Courier offered hazardous material for transportation by air when the material was not properly classed, described, packaged, marked labeled or in a condition for shipment as authorized under the hazardous materials regulations.

World Courier, Inc., has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.


The FAA has proposed to assess a civil penalty of $50,000 against Irrifrance Industries of Paulhan, France, for alleged violations of Department of Transportation hazardous material regulations.

The FAA alleged that on December 9, 1999, Irrifrance offered a shipment of hazardous materials to Airborne Express through TNT Skyguide and Chronopost.

The shipment consisted of a single fiberboard box that flew on a regularly scheduled Airborne Express cargo flight from Houston, Texas, to the Airborne sort facility in Wilmington, Ohio.

At Wilmington, Airborne Express employee noticed the package was emitting an odor. Inspection revealed that it contained two one-gallon metal cans of Beckrylac 1510, a paint. Both cans were marked "toxique" and "inflammable." The lids on both cans had failed, allowing the material to leak.

There were no shipping papers to adequately describe the hazardous materials; the outer box was not properly marked and Irrifrance did not make emergency response information available; and Irrifrance failed to instruct all of its employees responsible for preparing hazardous material shipments of the applicable regulatory requirements.

Irrifrance Industries has 30 days from its receipt of the FAA's Civil Penalty Letter to respond to the allegations.


EPA has launched a new Web site that will help consumers make more environmentally-informed choices when purchasing a vehicle. The Green Vehicle Guide lists pollution levels for all model year 2000 and 2001 passenger vehicles sold in the United States. Consumers can select a vehicle model, determine how clean it is relative to other vehicles, comparison shop for similar vehicles, and choose the cleanest vehicle that meets their needs.

The Green Vehicle Guide is located on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions/.


EPA announces the release of a web-based, Interim Information Products Bulletin (IPB) for public review and comment. The Interim IPB can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ipbpages and via links from the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) web site.

The Interim IPB provides an initial list to notify interested stakeholders and members of the public of upcoming "significant information products" being developed or modified by EPA. They have been derived from federal, state, local, tribal and/or other organizations' data; state reports and publications; and, other reports that are regional or national in scope. The Interim Bulletin includes products that EPA plans to publish either electronically or in hard copy before March, 2001. This initial Bulletin precedes a more detailed bulletin which will be published regularly, both on-line and in hard copy, starting next spring.

The Bulletin is a joint effort between EPA and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS). It was developed, in part, in response to a request from participants in a national Information Management Forum (which included representatives from industry, state, tribal and local government officials and various public interest and educational groups) and the participants in various focus groups convened by EPA nationwide since 1997.

Future editions of the IPB will be made available in hard copy to facilitate public access by those who do not have access to the Internet at home, school, work or in their community. For additional information about the "Interim IPB" please contact: Michele Berger, US EPA/OEI/OIAA(2843), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460; by berger.michele@epa.gov or by telephone: 202/260-1217.


The leading cause of impairment for nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies that do not meet water quality standards is polluted storm water runoff, according to a recent National Water Quality Report to Congress. The report further shows that polluted storm water discharges affect 13 percent of impaired rivers, 21 percent of impaired lakes and 45 percent of impaired estuaries (National Water Quality Inventory, 1996, http://www.epa.gov/305b/).

Storm water runoff also is one of the leading causes of beach closings. A recent survey of coastal and Great Lakes communities found that more than 1,500 beach closings and advisories were attributable to storm water runoff in 1998 (EPA and Natural Resources Defense Council data, 1998).

Storm water discharges from industrial activities impact the physical, biological and chemical health of a receiving water. Pollutants commonly found in storm water runoff may contain high levels of contaminants such as sediment, suspended solids, nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen), heavy metals and other toxic pollutants and pathogens.

EPA is concerned that many industrial activities may be discharging storm water illegally, and, therefore, placing public health and the environment at risk. As such, the Agency has been educating industry on storm water compliance requirements and taking enforcement actions to bring violators into compliance.

For more information on the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water pro-gram; Federal enforcement priorities for dealing with storm water discharge noncompliance; EPA Regions III and VI enforcement efforts; and common compliance problems at constructions sites, download EPA's Enforcement Alert newsletter at http://www.epa.gov/oeca/ore/enfalert/.