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Company Fined for Failing to Comply with Oil Spill Prevention Requirements at 7 N.H. and Maine Facilities

Release Date: 05/16/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 16, 2007) - A Maine-based company with approximately 30 oil storage and distribution facilities subject to oil spill prevention requirements throughout northern New England will pay an EPA fine to resolve an enforcement action in which EPA alleged that the company failed to comply with these requirements at seven facilities in New Hampshire and Maine.

Under the terms of a settlement with EPA, the CN Brown Company of South Paris, Maine will pay a penalty of $157,500. The company has also committed to spend over $1 million to bring their New England facilities into compliance with federal Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

“Because oil spills can do significant damage to the environment, EPA makes it a priority to ensure that facilities handling oils must follow established procedures to minimize risks of oil spills,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

An inspector from EPA’s New England office inspected the seven CN Brown oil storage facilities with representatives of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP). The inspections revealed that, while the company did have "Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure" (SPCC) plans in place at most of the seven facilities evaluated, the plans did not adequately address all of the requirements, had not been updated to reflect actual oil storage currently in use at the facilities, and were not being fully implemented as required by the federal regulations.

All of the seven facilities lacked adequate secondary containment for some portion of each facility. Some of the facilities lacked secondary containment for bulk oil storage tanks and transfer areas. None of the loading racks at any of the facilities were provided with adequate secondary containment. Two of the New Hampshire facilities are located in drinking water protection areas.

Facilities that store and/or distribute petroleum and non-petroleum oils in bulk and meet certain other requirements are required by the federal Clean Water Act to implement SPCC plans and construct spill containment systems, which help reduce the likelihood of an oil spill that could damage the environment or endanger human health. Spill prevention and control laws help ensure that a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil being released into drinking water supplies, rivers or streams.

Following EPA’s inspections and contacts with the company, CN Brown has been responsive to EPA’s requests to bring the seven facilities into compliance with Oil Pollution Prevention regulations. Furthermore, CN Brown voluntarily disclosed additional sites which are subject to the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations, at which they are taking action to improve oil spill preparedness and upgrade secondary containment structures.

EPA has coordinated closely with both NHDES and MEDEP on this action.

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