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Richland Oil Company Settles Oil Spill Prevention Lawsuit - Carlos R. Leffler, Inc. to Pay $435,000 Penalty and Restore 14 Acres of Wetlands

Release Date: 6/16/1999
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron 215-814-5113

RICHLAND, Pa. -- A Lebanon County oil company will pay a $435,000 fine and create a 14-acre wetlands sanctuary as part of a settlement in an oil spill prevention case.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia announced the settlement today against Carlos R. Leffler Inc., Richland, Pa. The legal action alleged that Leffler had failed to prepare and submit to EPA plans for the prevention, control and cleanup of potential oil spills at 12 of its oil storage facilities in Pennsylvania.

Under the terms of the consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Leffler has agreed to pay a penalty of $435,000 and spend an additional $110,000 to improve a company-owned site in Walker Township, Juniata County, Pa. which includes a forest, field and wetlands. The improvements will include a parking area, trail, plantings and avian habitats. The property will then be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, a local non-profit organization.

“We’re pleased with a settlement that will also protect ecologically important wetlands for years to come,@ said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.

The government sued the company for violating the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, an amendment to the Clean Water Act designed to prevent water pollution from oil spills. The suit was one of the first in the country enforcing the requirement that facilities prepare for “worst case@ oil spills.

The complaint against Leffler, filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleged that the company failed to prepare timely facility response plans or perform required personnel training for seven facilities in Pennsylvania: the Tuckerton Terminal in Reading; the Williamsport Bulk Plant, and oil terminals in Richland, Macungie, Sinking Spring, New Holland, and New Kingston.

The complaint also alleged that the company failed to prepare spill prevention plans for underground fuel storage tanks at five C.R.’s Friendly Market locations in Annville, Harrisburg, Steelton, Columbia, and Fleetwood.