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Baltimore Oil Refiner Empties 3.3-Million-Gallon Gas Tank - Corrosion Posed Threat of Spill into Curtis Bay

Release Date: 2/19/1999
Contact Information: Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540

BALTIMORE - Bayway Refining Co. has emptied a 3.3-million-gallon gas tank at its 35-acre oil terminal here, according to company officials. The EPA ordered Bayway to empty the tank as a precaution to prevent a major spill from occurring due to dangerous corrosion at critical stress points in the tank’s floor. The corrosion was discovered during a January 26 EPA inspection.

Emptying the tank is just one element of the EPA order, which also requires that the company develop a plan to further inspect and repair the tank, subject to EPA’s review and approval.

The Bayway terminal is east of Baltimore on the northern portion of Curtis Bay, and the tank in question in just 400 feet from the water’s edge. The facility has 13 above-ground storage tanks with a total storage capacity of nearly 31.5 million gallons of oil.
In a separate action, on July 1, 1998, EPA issued an administrative complaint proposing a $137,500 penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act’s oil spill prevention regulations.  According to EPA’s complaint, which Bayway is contesting, the company failed to maintain and inspect oil tank supports and foundations, conduct periodic integrity testing, protect buried piping, and examine and maintain exposed piping.

EPA also alleges that the terminal’s "spill prevention, control and countermeasure" plan does not include required information about the company’s ability to respond to oil spills. These alleged violations were discovered during a September 22, 1997 EPA inspection of the terminal.