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Stonington, Maine Company Faces Up to $157,500 Fine for Oil Spill Prevention Violations

Release Date: 05/02/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 2, 2008) – A Maine company that owns and operates six oil storage and distribution facilities in Stonington and Deer Isle faces up to $157,500 in EPA fines for allegedly failing to adequately plan for and guard against oil spills, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations.

An EPA administrative complaint alleges that R.L. Greenlaw & Son, Inc. failed to adequately prepare and implement Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plans at two of its Stonington facilities.

Spill prevention and control laws help ensure that a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil being released into surface waters, such as harbors, rivers or streams. The regulations require that certain spill prevention and response measures be implemented at facilities that store oil above threshold amounts. Both R.L. Greenlaw oil storage facilities are located directly adjacent to Penobscot Bay, thus posing a threat to the Bay if spills were to occur.

An inspection by EPA’s New England office and the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) of the Sea Breeze Avenue and Indian Point Road oil storage facilities in Stonington found that R.L. Greenlaw had failed to fully implement adequate SPCC plans for the two sites. In particular, the company failed to maintain sufficiently impervious secondary containment for its oil tanks at both locations and failed to construct adequate containment for the loading and off-loading areas at the Sea Breeze Avenue facility, which are adjacent to the harbor. The two facilities also lacked fencing, which is required by the EPA regulations to prevent unauthorized access to oil storage containers.

“Oil spills can do significant damage to the environment, including to surface waters which provide habitat for fish and wildlife, said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. “EPA will continue to ensure that oil-handling facilities take the correct steps to minimize risks of oil spills.”

Following EPA’s inspection and contacts with the company, R.L. Greenlaw has been responsive to EPA’s requests to bring the Stonington facilities into compliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations, and is working with an engineering company to update its SPCC plans. R.L. Greenlaw has recently inspected its Sea Breeze Avenue tanks and conducted liquid-tightness testing of the dike to identify leaks. The company has submitted a corrective action plan for both facilities, which includes repairs to the tank dikes and construction of poured concrete containment areas for the Sea Breeze Avenue oil transfer areas.

EPA continues to focus on oil spill prevention in New England. In 2007, EPA conducted inspections at over 100 facilities in New England to determine their compliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

More information:

Federal oil spill prevention requirements (epa.gov/oilspill/spcc)
Oil Spill prevention in New England (epa.gov/region1/superfund/er/oilstor)

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