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Maine Oil Facility Faces EPA Fine for Lack of Oil Spill Preparedness
Release Date: 07/28/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. - July 28, 2006) – A petroleum storage and distribution company in Lisbon Falls, Maine faces an EPA penalty for failing to plan for and guard against oil spills at its bulk oil storage facility.
According to a complaint filed by EPA's New England office, the Lisbon Fuel Company did not have a "Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure" (SPCC) plan in place, as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
Further, the facility did not have any secondary containment in place for its bulk oil storage tanks and oil transfer areas. In the event of a serious leak or tank failure, secondary containment can help prevent oil from reaching nearby storm drains, which in turn discharge to surface waters. Thus, oil spills at this facility place the Androscoggin River at risk of becoming contaminated with oil.
The facility is located about one-half mile from the Androscoggin River, and has storage capacity of about 39,000 gallons of fuel oil, diesel fuel, and kerosene. Two used 4,000-gallon underground storage tanks are being used as above-ground storage tanks, in violation of an SPCC requirement to use containers that are compatible with the materials being stored and conditions of storage. There is currently no secondary containment around the bulk oil storage tanks or loading rack.
EPA's New England office inspected the Lisbon facility in January and identified the lack of secondary containment and the failure to prepare a spill prevention plan. Since EPA’s inspection, the company has developed an interim SPCC plan and is in the process of replacing its storage tanks and building secondary containment.
Because oil spills can cause significant environmental damage to the environment, and particularly to neighboring drinking water wells, EPA's New England Office is very concerned to ensure that facilities handling oils follow established procedures to minimize risks of oil spills.
Spill prevention and control laws help ensure that a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil being released into private wells, rivers, streams or other surface waters. Lack of an adequate SPCC plan increases the potential that substantial quantities of oil would reach surface waters if an incident occurs. The maximum penalty for the violations could be as much as $157,500.
For more information on oil spill preparedness in New England (epa.gov/ne/superfund/er/oilstor.htm)
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