Maine Oil Company Fined for Clean Water Violations (ME)
(Boston, Mass. – August 22, 2011) – A Maine heating oil company has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle EPA claims that it violated the Clean Water Act and federal regulations designed to prevent oil spills from reaching waterways.
Fabian Oil, Inc. sells heating oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products from several facilities in Maine. According to EPA, Fabian failed to maintain and fully implement Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans at three of these facilities. After EPA performed inspections in 2009-10, Fabian produced revised, updated SPCC Plans for the facilities and proceeded to implement them. The implementation work included installing concrete pads to contain potential spills from tank truck loading areas, updating spill control equipment, and performing oil tank integrity testing.
Because Fabian’s old SPCC Plans were out-of-date and only partially implemented, Fabian’s three facilities were not fully prepared to deal with oil spills or to prevent spills from having potentially serious environmental consequences. EPA’s oil spill prevention regulations and SPCC Plan requirements help ensure that tank failures or accidental spills from oil-storing facilities do not lead to oil contamination of surface waters, such as rivers or streams, which could harm human and ecological health. These regulatory requirements generally apply to facilities with above-ground oil storage capacity of more than 1,320 gallons. Fabian’s three violating facilities have storage capacities of 30,000 to 60,000 gallons.
“Because oil spills can do significant damage to the environment, it’s very important that facilities handling and storing oil do everything possible to minimize the risk of oil spills,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “It’s much easier and less expensive to prevent pollution before it occurs.”
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