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North Slope fuel distributor violated oil spill prevention and response safety rules

Release Date: 12/08/2014
Contact Information: Jeff Philip, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1465, philip.jeff@epa.gov

(Seattle – December 8, 2014) NANA Oilfield Services, Inc. violated federal oil spill prevention and response rules at its Deadhorse, Alaska, fuel storage and distribution facility, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA found multiple violations of Clean Water Act spill prevention rules and spill response requirements at the facility.

"Companies that store large amounts of fuel must be prepared to prevent and respond to fuel spills to protect people’s health and the environment," said Jeff Kenknight, manager of EPA Region 10 wastewater permits compliance unit. "Companies must have comprehensive oil spill prevention and response plans in place and available to facility staff so they will be prepared if a spill occurs."

Facilities with the potential for oil spills, and more than 1,320 gallons of above-ground fuel storage capacity, must prevent discharges to waterways by using a detailed Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan. In addition, before a facility increases its capacity to one million or more gallons, they must submit a Facility Response Plan to the EPA. The Facility Response Plan is a higher level plan to address the increased risk of a higher capacity facility. These rules are designed to prevent discharges to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines, and to demonstrate a facility’s preparedness to address a worst case scenario oil spill.

EPA inspectors at the Deadhorse facility noted that, while they had a spill prevention plan, they had not submitted the required and more-detailed Facility Response Plan to the EPA despite having more than one million gallons of fuel on site. Inspectors also noted that on-site NANA Oilfield Services personnel were not properly trained in spill response and could not answer basic facility response questions. In addition, they found that a, now removed, jet fuel pipeline running to the air strip lacked secondary containment precautions that would prevent additional risk to the environment in the event of a release.

Implementing a detailed spill prevention plan tailored to the facility is an important step in preparedness and prevention of any conceivable fuel or oil releases. A spill at the Deadhorse facility could harm the adjacent wetlands and nearby Colleen Lake. The company agreed to pay a $37,500 penalty in its settlement with the EPA and has come into compliance with SPCC regulations.

To learn more about Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures rules: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm

For a copy of the NANA Oilfield Services, Inc. Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO): http://go.usa.gov/vEgF