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EPA fines Mariana Acquisition Corp. for air pollution violations in Saipan

Release Date: 03/21/2011
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

Gasoline distributor fined $826,000

(03/21/11) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Mariana Acquisition Corporation agreed to pay $826,000 for allegedly violating the federal Clean Air Act by failing to control emissions from its gasoline storage and distribution facility.

According to the complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement, for more than two decades, Mariana Acquisition, previously doing business as Shell Marianas, failed to install vapor pollution controls and comply with a pollution limit at its bulk gasoline terminal loading area in Puerto Rico, Saipan. Failure to limit its emissions led to the illegal discharge of about 5 tons of volatile organic compounds into the air each year.

"This is EPA's second settlement in a year aimed at improving air quality in Saipan,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Similar to the requirements imposed on the Mobil Oil terminals, we are requiring the Mariana Acquisition facility to install controls to cut the health risks to local residents by reducing hazardous air pollutants."

As part of the settlement, Mariana Acquisition will install air pollution controls, as well as limit its facility operations until the controls are installed. Mariana Acquisition estimates that it will spend $2.3 million to bring the bulk gasoline terminal into compliance with the Clean Air Act.

Bulk gasoline terminals are large storage tank facilities where gasoline is loaded into tank trucks for distribution to gasoline service stations. Vapors containing volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants, including the known human carcinogen benzene, can leak from storage tanks, pipes, and tank trucks as they are loaded.

Today's settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for Northern Mariana Islands and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at


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