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Maine Oil Storage Company Pays Penalty to Settle Clean Water Violations

Release Date: 07/08/2009
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

Maine Oil Storage Company Pays Penalty to Settle Clean Water Violations

(Boston, Mass. – July 8, 2009) – The Downeast Energy Corporation will pay a $157,500 fine for failing to adequately prepare and fully implement federally regulated oil spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans at its Maine oil storage facilities.

An EPA inspection at Downeast Energy’s Springvale oil storage facility found that, although the facility had developed an SPCC plan for that facility, the plan was not fully implemented and did not meet all of the federal prevention requirements. In response to an EPA information request following the Springvale inspection, Downeast Energy indicated that it had identified six additional facilities where the SPCC plans were not fully implemented as required by the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

Upon notification of the violations, Downeast was responsive to EPA’s requests to bring its facilities into compliance. Under the terms of the settlement with EPA, Downeast has committed to ensuring that all seven of its facilities will come into full compliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations by August 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

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