Three fuel companies will pay fines and invest in facility upgrades for violating federal oil spill prevention and response rules at their Oregon facilities, according to separate settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA inspections of facilities for Tyree Oil Inc., Carson Oil Co., and Ferrell’s Fuel Network from 2007 and 2011 found multiple violations of federal spill prevention rules and spill response requirements under the Clean Water Act, intended to protect people and the environment.
“Companies storing large amounts of fuel must be prepared to prevent and respond to fuel spills to protect people’s health and the environment,” said Jeff KenKnight, manager of EPA Region 10 wastewater permits compliance unit. “With strong spill prevention and response plans in place, accidental fuel spills are far less likely to occur.”
Tyree Oil, Inc. failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at its North Bend and Eugene facilities and failed to develop a federal Facility Response Plan at its North Bend facility. Tyree also spilled nearly 300 gallons of diesel fuel at its Eugene facility, some of which reached the Willamette River. Tyree will pay a $27,920 federal fine, a $2,080 state fine, and complete $200,000 in secondary containment system upgrades to their transload facility in Eugene.
Carson Oil Co. failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at its North Bend facility. Carson also spilled 29 gallons of diesel fuel, some of which reached Coos Bay. Carson will pay a $29,843 federal fine and complete $35,000 in stormwater control upgrades to their facility.
Ferrell’s Fuel Network failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at its facility in Klamath Falls. Ferrell’s will pay a $28,200 federal fine.
Federal law requires that facilities with the potential for oil spills take every possible step to prevent discharges to rivers, lakes, or oceans by implementing Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans. Facilities with more than 1,320 gallons of aboveground fuel storage capacity must have plans to prevent and contain spills, such as installing secondary containment around fuel storage tanks and transfer areas.
Under federal law, facilities must also minimize environmental damage if oil spills do occur. Facility Response Plan rules under the Clean Water Act require facilities that store and distribute oil be ready to contain and clean up spills. To safely respond to a spill, a facility must have adequate employee training, spill response equipment, and a contingency plan for containing and cleaning up a release.