Seven companies in New England that store and distribute oil have all created or updated spill prevention plans and come into compliance with federal oil pollution prevention laws, said officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Companies in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Vermont agreed to pay penalties ranging from $3,000 to $9,500 to settle EPA claims they each violated federal laws meant to prevent oil spills. These settlements came under an expedited settlement program whereby EPA agreed to resolve these cases for reduced penalties with companies able to quickly correct violations of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations, had certain minimum storage capacity, and which did not have an accompanying spill.
“Each of these companies stores oils in volumes that require proper contingency planning to prevent spills or minimize damages from spills,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Companies that store oil have a responsibility to follow the rules designed to protect the public and the environment. Companies storing oil must prepare spill prevention plans in accordance with federal clean water regulations.”
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules provide requirements for oil spill prevention, preparedness and response to prevent oil discharges to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. The rules require specific facilities to prepare, amend, and implement SPCC Plans, which are part of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation.
According to the settlements signed recently by EPA’s New England office, the following companies will pay the penalties listed:
• Lakeside Oil Co. of Marlborough, MA, and Richards Oil Co. in Northborough, MA, paid a combined $4,000 penalty to settle EPA allegations they did not have a required oil spill prevention plan. Lakeside is a bulk fuel oil storage and distribution facility and Richards Oil Co. has a service garage for oil tanker trucks. The companies have the same owner and now have fully implemented spill prevention plans.
• LS Starrett of Athol, MA, paid a $5,400 penalty to settle EPA claims that it did not have a spill prevention plan. The company has now prepared and implemented a spill prevention plan.
• VIP Tour and Charter Bus Co. of Portland, ME, paid a $4,800 penalty to settle EPA claims that it did not have a spill prevention plan. The company has now prepared and implemented a spill prevention plan.
• Brewer Pilots Point Marine in Westbrook, CT, a saltwater marina with oil storage and distribution operations paid a $3,200 penalty to settle claims it did not have an adequate spill prevention plan. The company has now prepared and implemented a spill prevention plan.
• Superior Plus Energy Service of Seymour, CT, paid a $9,500 penalty to settle EPA allegations that it did not have an adequate spill prevention plan. The company is now in compliance with spill plan prevention requirements.
• CV Oil of Pittsfield, VT, paid a $3,000 penalty to settle EPA claims it did not have a spill prevention plan. The company prepared and implemented a spill prevention plan.
These cases arise out of a series of inspections over the past two years by EPA’s New England office. Under the federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations companies which store more oil than the federal threshold must prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan detailing their oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response measures to prevent the release of oil to our nation’s waterways.