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EPA fines American Samoa shipyard for $19,500 for oil spill prevention and discharge violations
Release Date: 3/8/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711
HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined the owner of Southwest Marine, $19,500 for oil spill prevention violations and oil releases into Pago Pago Harbor, on Tutuila Island, American Samoa.
"Oil spills can cause serious environmental damage to delicate coral reef ecosystems and marine species," said Keith Takata, director of the EPA's Superfund Division for the Pacific Southwest. "It's important that facilities have oil spill plans and effective spill containment in place to prevent accidents from contaminating the environment."
EPA and American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency officials inspected the site in October 2003 and observed oil and oily water discharges from several oil storage containers. The containers were without secondary containment and the discharged oil and oily water ran across the facility into Pago Pago Harbor.
The EPA issued an order in November 2003 to Southwest Marine to clean up the site and prevent oil releases.
Since receiving the order, Southwest Marine has removed all free-standing oil, leaking drums and tanks, and cleaned up significant amounts of oil contamination at the facility. The facility also has reduced its total oil storage capacity of 13,000 gallons to below the 1,320 gallon spill prevention regulation threshold.
The EPA's spill prevention regulations require a facility to have a spill prevention plan that addresses the facility's design, operation, and maintenance to prevent oil spills. The plan must include measures to control, contain, clean up, and mitigate any effects an oil spill might have on waterways. Southwest Marine had a spill prevention plan but it was not certified by a professional engineer nor were elements of the plan implemented as required by the regulations.
For more on oil spill prevention visit: www.epa.gov/Region9/waste/sfund/oilpp/index.html