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EPA requires oil spill containment improvements at Aloha Petroleum bulk fuel facilities

Release Date: 12/02/2015
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

(12/02/15) Company must also install vapor controls before reopening Hilo East Terminal

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with Aloha Petroleum Ltd. that resolves federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act violations at its Hilo East bulk fuel storage terminal in Hilo, Hawaii Island. In addition to installing spill containment at its fuel storage facilities statewide at an estimated cost of $3.25 million, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $650,000.

The company failed to install vapor controls at its Hilo East Terminal that complied with emission limits on its gasoline loading rack, and failed to have appropriate secondary spill containment for oil storage tanks. Aloha Petroleum recently shut down operations at the Hilo East facility, and the company cannot reopen it until volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor controls are installed and oil spill containment is improved, which EPA estimates would cost a total of at least $900,000.

“This enforcement action ensures that harmful gasoline vapors will be controlled at the Hilo East Terminal,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “And Aloha Petroleum will be upgrading its oil containment basins, which are made of coral rock and too porous to prevent spilled fuel from leaking into the environment.”

Aloha Petroleum will need to make oil spill secondary containment improvements to its bulk fuel facilities in Hawaii, including the construction of impermeable dikes, berms and basins to contain oil in case of a spill from its tanks. These improvements, which EPA estimates will cost up to $3.25 million, will occur at the following five facilities:

      Hilo West Facility, Hilo, Hawaii
      Kahalui Terminal, Kahului, Maui
      Nawiliwili Terminal, Lihue, Kauai
      Barbers Point Terminal, Kapolei, Oahu
      Honolulu Terminal, Honolulu, Oahu
      To resolve the Clean Water Act violations, $117,000 of the $650,000 civil penalty will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

      Clean Air Act rules require vapor controls on loading racks to limit VOC emissions during tank truck loading. Gasoline vapors include hazardous air pollutants, such as benzene, and VOCs, which are an ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone or smog and can cause human respiratory impacts and aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma. For more information please visit:

      Oil, fuel spills and other contamination from onshore sources can pollute and harm coral reefs and marine life. Clean Water Act regulations require onshore oil and fuel storage facilities to have spill prevention, control and countermeasures that include proper secondary containment to prevent oil and fuel from being discharged into wetlands, streams and the ocean. For more information please visit: