The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced four settlements with companies in Connecticut and Maine for violations of federal oil spill laws.
The three companies in Connecticut and a company in Maine have all created oil spill prevention plans and come into compliance with federal oil pollution prevention laws, ensuring that the environment in the communities where they operate are better protected from damaging oil spills, according to federal officials.
According to the agreements, the four companies will pay penalties ranging from $4,000 to $9,900 to settle claims by EPA that they each violated federal laws meant to prevent oil spills. These settlements were reached under an expedited settlement program whereby EPA agreed to resolve these cases for reduced penalties with companies that were able to quickly correct violations of the oil pollution prevention regulations.
The companies involved in settlements were GCA Logging of Avon, Maine; Superior Fuel Oil Co., of Waterbury, Conn.; Academy Bus of Bridgeport, Conn., and GBC Metals of Waterbury.
“Each of these companies stores oil in quantities that require plans to prevent spills and minimize damage from oil spills, so they need to have spill prevention plans that comply with federal clean water regulations,’’ said Deb Szaro, EPA’s New England acting regional administrator.
“Companies that store oil must follow the laws designed to protect the public and the environment.’’
Federal oil spill prevention, control and countermeasure rules provide requirements for businesses that store oil and prevent oil discharges into nearby water resources. The rules require certain businesses to prepare, amend and implement oil spill prevention and response plans, which are part of the oil pollution prevention regulation requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Cases & Violations
These cases include the following:
– GCA Logging
GCA Logging of Avon, Maine, on Sept. 20, 2018 agreed to pay a $4,000 penalty and to address violations of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations of the Clean Water Act. In February 2018, a fuel delivery company over-filled an above-ground storage tank, causing a spill that resulted in oil discharging into a nearby stream that flows into the Sandy River. At the time of the spill, the facility did not have a required spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan. In a separate action, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection penalized both GCA Logging and the fuel delivery company for causing the oil spill.
– Superior Fuel Oil Co.
Superior Fuel Oil Co. of Waterbury on Sept. 6, 2018, agreed to pay a $9,900 penalty and to address violations of federal oil pollution prevention regulations. During an inspection at the company, EPA saw that the facility did not have adequate spill containment for oil truck-loading racks and wasn’t fully implementing its oil spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan.
– Academy Bus
Academy Bus of Bridgeport, Conn., on Aug. 13, 2018, agreed to pay a $4,700 penalty and address violations of the oil pollution prevention regulations. The state responded to an oil spill at the company and referred the facility to EPA. During an inspection at the company, EPA saw that the facility did not have an adequate oil spill prevention control and countermeasure plan. Academy Bus amended its plan and put in place measures to prevent future spills.
– GBC Metals of Waterbury
GBC Metals of Waterbury, also known as Somers Thin Strip, agreed in June 2018 to pay a $6,100 penalty and to take measures to prevent future spills. In January, piping associated with an external valve on an oil cooling tower system at the facility failed, causing a release of about 5,790 gallons of oil from the system into a nearby storm drain. Between 625 and 650 gallons of oil was recovered from the Naugatuck River. The company responded promptly to the spill and did a cleanup, according to federal officials.