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Oil Company Fined for Inadequate Spill Prevention Controls in New Hampshire

Release Date: 02/05/2009
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 5, 2009) – Inergy Propane, LLC will pay $157,500 for failing to adequately prepare and implement federally regulated oil spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans at four of their heating oil distribution facilities in New Hampshire.

The Inergy facilities were originally inspected by EPA and the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services as part of an effort to improve compliance at oil storage facilities that could pose a threat to water supplies. The inspections found that while Inergy Propane LLC had developed SPCC plans, they were not meeting all of the federal prevention requirements and not fully implementing the plans at each site.

The four Inergy facilities in N.H. have a combined oil storage capacity of about 360,000 gallons and are located in Atkinson, Brentwood, Derry and Hampstead. Inergy operates approximately a dozen facilities across New England that are subject to federal oil spill prevention and control regulations.

Following EPA’s inspection and contacts with the company, Inergy had been responsive to the requests to bring their facilities into compliance. Under the terms of the settlement, Inergy has also committed to ensuring that all of their regulated New England facilities are in full compliance by July 1, 2009.

Oil spill prevention requirements under the Federal Clean Water Act can apply to certain oil storage and distribution facilities if their storage capacity rises above 1,320 gallons and due to their location, the facility could ever reasonably be anticipated to release oil products into a waterway of the United States or adjoining shoreline area. If these criteria are met, these facilities must implement SPCC plans and utilize spill containment systems to reduce the likelihood of an accident or spill that could endanger public health and the environment.

In the continual effort to protect New England’s environment from oil spills, EPA has inspected over 100 facilities since 2007. Nationwide in 2008, EPA had required responsible and/ or liable parties to spend an estimated $11 billion on pollution controls, environmental projects and cleanup. EPA expects that these activities will set the stage for an annual reduction of more than three billion pounds of pollution.

More information:
- Federal oil spill prevention requirements (
http://www.epa.gov/oilspill/spcc)
- Oil Spill prevention in New England (
http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/er/oilstor.htm)