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Connecticut Oil Company Pays Fine for Clean Water Violations

Release Date: 09/17/2009
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston—September 17, 2009) A West Hartford oil company has agreed to pay a fine of $30,000 for violating the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

During oil deliveries in late 2007, Viking Oil Company pumped oil from an oil delivery truck into a monitoring well rather than into the underground storage tank used for heating oil. As a result, oil was discharged into the environment, causing a visible oil sheen to appear in waters of a wetland in close proximity to one of their clients. The oil sheen was also seen on a tributary of Rattlesnake Brook, a perennial stream that flows into the Farmington River.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) was the first to respond after the initial report of oil sheen. Viking’s insurance carrier immediately hired a response team to contain the spill and investigate its impact. The team was able to contain most of the oil before it entered the wetlands or waterways. To date, the insurance company has spent over one million dollars intercepting the remaining oil and remediating the wetlands. The remaining cleanup activities are being completed with CT DEP’s oversight.

Although the oil impacted the vegetation and soil in the area, there were no signs that wildlife was harmed or threatened as a result of the spill. In addition, CT DEP determined that all of the closest drinking water wells were uphill from the affected area and that there was no indication of well water contamination.

More information:

EPA's enforcement of the Clean Water Act in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water)
Prevention of oil spills (www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm)