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Jerome oil distributor agrees to spend over $123,000 to settle EPA Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 03/02/2009
Contact Information: Kate Spaulding, EPA Compliance and Enforcement (206) 553-5429, spaulding.kate@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Boise, Idaho – March 2, 2009) Franklin United, Inc. (also known as United Oil) has agreed to pay a $32,680 penalty to settle Clean Water Act (CWA) violations. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the alleged violations occurred at United Oil’s gasoline and diesel bulk fuel storage, distribution and card lock retail facility, located at 129 West Avenue D, Jerome, Idaho.

EPA alleges that United Oil is in violation of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulations under the CWA. These regulations require, among other things, the preparation of an SPCC plan to guide the facility on preventing and responding to petroleum spills. During an EPA inspection of United Oil facility in June 2007, inspectors determined that United Oil had a SPCC Plan, but had not implemented most of it. There were many violations of the regulations, but the most important was that United Oil had inadequate secondary containment around its above-ground tanks and no containment at its loading/off loading rack. The facility is used for storing, distributing and selling gasoline and diesel products. To date, this is the largest SPCC penalty in Idaho.

As part of the settlement with the EPA, United Oil has agreed to spend at least $90,600 on implementing a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). The project includes the purchase of two trailers equipped with oil spill response equipment that United Oil will donate to emergency response units in Twin Falls and Idaho Falls. United Oil has also installed new remote sensing equipment to monitor for accidental overfills of some of its tanks.

The SPCC regulations are designed so that control measures are in place before a spill occurs,” said Edward Kowalski, EPA Director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “We therefore take seriously the need to install containment structures and other preventative measures to help ensure that spills don’t occur, and if they do occur, that they will be contained.”

For more information about EPA’s SPCC Rule, visit: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm