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Claremont, N.H. Agrees to $6,000 Fine for Oil Spill Control Violations
Release Date: 12/12/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the City of Claremont, N.H. has agreed to pay $6,000 to settle a complaint alleging failure to plan for and guard against oil spills at its public works facility. EPA’s complaint alleged that the city did not have a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan in place, as required by federal law.
Both the Claremont public works garage on Grandview Street and the transfer station on Grissom Lane have the capacity to store more than 1,320 gallons of oil, enough to require an approved spill control plan. The garage is less than one-half mile from the Sugar River and the transfer station is less than one-quarter mile from Ox Brook and Hubbard Brook, all of which are potentially vulnerable in the event of an oil spill. All the waterways also drain into the Connecticut River.
An EPA inspection in September 2001 revealed that the facility did not have a SPCC plan in place. While the facility had some secondary containment, SPCC plans also require other safeguards, such as employee training in spill prevention procedures, tank inspections, and site security measures.
Since the inspection, the city has developed a spill control plan. EPA reviewed and commented on certain deficiencies in the spill plan which the city must address or it could be found in continued non-compliance. EPA will continue to monitor the implementation of the final spill control plan.
“Municipal operations can have just as big an effect on our waters as private operations, which is why we’ve been working hard to get cities and towns into compliance,”said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office.
Over the past two years, EPA NE has focused much attention on improving environmental compliance at municipal facilities, including public works facilities, through compliance assistance programs and enforcement inspections. Among the enforcement actions since 1997 have been twelve cases against municipal public works facilities and two state transportation agencies for failure to adhere to the oil pollution prevention regulations of the Clean Water Act. More information on EPA New England’s municipal compliance assistance efforts can be found at www.epa.gov/ne/municipalities/index.html