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Release Date: 07/12/1996
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA-New England Press Office; (617) 918-1064

BOSTON - Ryder Truck Rental, Inc. will pay a $8,000 environmental fine for failing to have in place a plan to handle accidental oil spills resulting from fueling or maintenance of its rental fleet.

Ryder's Killingly, Connecticut, location was cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England regional office (EPA) for failing to have developed a facility-specific spill prevention plan.

Inspectors from the state and federal environmental agencies were informed by the company of two spills at the Killingly location. One spill resulted in 612 gallons of diesel fuel spilling onto the ground owing to a malfunctioning automatic shutoff device that went unnoticed because the refueling was not attended by an attendant at the time. Approximately 300 gallons of the spill were contained in the parking lot catch basins at the facility. The remaining 312 gallons were discharged through the catch basin into a stormwater retention basin on the property. The spill was contained to the stormwater basin and did not drain to Alexander Lake, approximately 500 feet from the spill area. The company reported another spill of 50 gallons of fuel oil a month later.

This case was filed under an expanded authority provision of the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act. Enacted following the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, the law is a comprehensive statute designed to expand oil and hazardous substances spill prevention activities, establish new federal authority to direct responses to spills, improve preparedness and response capabilities, and ensure that liable companies are held responsible for spills that occur. Specifically, companies are required to prepare a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan which is an essential component to a company's management strategy for preventing and containing oil and other hazardous substances spills.