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Corco to Correct Its Spill Plans and Pay a $42,000 Penalty for Past Violations

Release Date: 12/18/2000
Contact Information:
(#00222) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- The Commonwealth Oil Refining Company (CORCO) will correct deficiencies in its Federal Response Plan (FRP) Exit EPA disclaimerand Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan for its defunct refinery in Peņuelas, Puerto Rico and will pay a penalty of $42,000, according to an agreement signed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agreement settles an EPA citation to CORCO for violating the federal Clean Water Act requirements that certain facilities prepare and maintain Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans to prevent spills and have Federal Response Plans to respond to spills if they do occur.

Though the refinery is no longer operating, many of the storage tanks still contain oil, so CORCO is still responsible for preventing and responding to spills from its tanks. Any facility that stores more than 1320 gallons of oil or oil derivative in aboveground storage tanks must develop SPCC plans to prevent spills from occurring, and must implement these plans by installing secondary containment, such as concrete structures, around storage tanks and other areas where oil could be spilled. These plans must be certified by a professional engineer and must be reviewed at least once every three years. These facilities must also prepare response plans detailing the facility's ability to respond to oil spills, including identification of qualified response personnel and equipment, flowpath of potential spills and vulnerable natural resources, evacuation and notification plans, and response training programs, including drills and exercises. CORCO’s violations were discovered during an April 2000 inspection of the Peņuelas refinery.