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Release Date: 11/16/1998
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617) 918-4154

BOSTON - The New England Office of the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to fine the city of Boston $60,660 for environmental violations discovered at two separate facilities earlier this year.

The EPA is citing a Department of Transportation garage on Southampton Street for failing to maintain a vapor collection and control system for its fuel pumps, and for failing to maintain an oil spill prevention plan for its fuel storage tanks. The EPA also discovered that a Department of Public Works garage on Frontage Road failed to maintain a spill prevention plan.

Massachusetts law requires fuel dispensing facilities that dispense 10,000 gallons or more of fuel per month to install a vapor collection and control system. Under the federal Clean Water Act, facilities that could possibly discharge harmful quantities of oil into navigable U.S. waters or adjoining shorelines must prepare and implement a spill prevention plan.

"No organization - whether it be government or private enterprise - should be allowed to skirt regulations that are designed to protect human health and the environment," said Ira Leighton, acting director of the EPA's New England Office of Environmental Stewardship. "As part of our public agency initiative, we will continue to take a hard look at the environmental practices of the region's local, state and federal facilities."

By taking these actions, the EPA expects to reduce the amount of volatile organic compound, or "VOC," emissions into the atmosphere, and reduce the threat of oil spills damaging local waterways. The installation of vapor recovery equipment is expected to lead to a VOC reduction of approximately 470 pounds per year.

EPA investigators discovered the violations at the facilities during a series of inspections in March of 1997.

Over the past year, the EPA has fined public agencies throughout New England a total of $342,850 for various waste, water and air violations.