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EPA Settles Clean Air Act Case with Martha's Vineyard Company
Release Date: 04/16/2002
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it settled a case with the R.M. Packer Co. of Martha's Vineyard for violating petroleum handling and storage regulations.
The company will pay a cash penalty of $200,000 over the next three years. In addition, Packer will install equipment to control emissions of volatile organic compounds at the company's Martha's Vineyard bulk petroleum terminal.
R.M. Packer owns and operates a bulk petroleum terminal in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard and leases a pier in New Bedford. Petroleum products are shipped to the island via barge from New Bedford. Once on the island, those products are delivered to homes, gas stations and businesses from the bulk petroleum terminal.
Petroleum products release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air. VOCs, also known as hydrocarbons, react with nitrogen oxides, or NOx, in the atmosphere to form ozone, or smog. To cut down on air pollution, EPA requires VOC controls. R.M. Packer did not have such control at either its Martha's Vineyard or New Bedford terminals, on the barges that bring the petroleum from New Bedford to the island, or on its delivery trucks on Martha's Vineyard.
The company's failure to control VOC emissions while loading and unloading petroleum resulted in a significant amount of VOCs – about 27 tons a year – to be released into the air in and around the Vineyard and New Bedford.
R.M. Packer also violated testing and record keeping requirements for bulk petroleum transportation companies.