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EPA orders BP South-West Pacific to takes steps to protect the waters of American Samoa / Company was not conducting monitoring required by permit

Release Date: 03/31/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(03/31/09) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an order to BP South-West Pacific requiring a wastewater discharge self-monitoring program for the company’s American Samoa Terminal.

The administrative order was issued to ensure representative sampling of all of BP’s wastewater discharged to the harbor and to establish a usable sample record for the renewal of the company’s wastewater discharge permit. The company operates a leased petroleum storage terminal owned by the American Samoa government that discharges processed wastewater and stormwater drainage to Pago Pago Harbor.

BP South-West Pacific rarely conducted the monthly self-monitoring required over the life of the now expired permit. The order establishes an additional self-monitoring program expected to be in the next permit, and does not supersede the permit nor relieve the company of complying with existing self-monitoring requirements.

“BP must fulfill all the specific conditions of its wastewater permit, including the required monitoring,” said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Dischargers are responsible for water quality monitoring to show us, and the public, they're complying with their permit and protecting the waters of American Samoa.”

Specifically, the company needs to:

* establish accessible sampling stations at each of the four oil water separators,
* conduct self-monitoring, at first weekly and then quarterly, of stormwater drainage through the oil water separators,
* conduct additional self-monitoring to account for all of the process wastewater discharges unrelated to storm events, and
* document and report the date and volume of all discharges of process wastewaters unrelated to storm events.

BP will need to begin self-monitoring upon receipt of the order and complete all work by June 2010. Any violation of the terms of the order or discharge standards could subject BP South-West Pacific to a civil action and/or penalties of up to $37,500 per day of violation.

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