N.H. Facility Faces Fines for Oil and Waste Violations
A New Hampshire facility faces a maximum penalty of $157,500 for allegedly failing to adequately plan for and guard against oil spills as required by the Clean Water Act. The facility also faces a penalty of up to $32,500 per day of violation for allegedly failing to complete certain chemical reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Draper Energy Co., Inc. operates an office, garage and oil storage facility in Wilton, N.H., as well as an oil storage and distribution facility in Milford, N.H., which have a combined oil storage capacity of about 280,000 gallons.
According to a complaint filed by EPA’s New England office, Draper Energy failed to prepare and implement a “Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure” (SPCC) Plan for its Wilton location and failed to fully implement its SPCC plan for the Milford bulk plant, as required by the federal Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.
A joint inspection by representatives from EPA and the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services (NHDES) found that the company failed to construct sufficiently impervious secondary containment around its oil storage containers located in Wilton and failed to keep records of container inspections and staff training. The inspection also revealed that Draper Energy failed to fully implement its 2002 SPCC Plan for the Milford tank farm by not promptly correcting visible oil discharges caused by leaking pumps and worn tank manhole seals, and failing to secure unlocked pump starter controls. The company also failed to maintain records of formal facility inspections and staff training at this location.
Draper Energy stores gasoline at its Milford facility and is located within the well radius of the Town of Milford’s drinking water supply. This sensitive location means that spills at the bulk plant could lead to contamination of a public drinking water aquifer.
“Oil spills can do significant damage to the environment, including to neighboring drinking water wells and public drinking water supplies,” said Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA's New England office. “EPA will continue to ensure that facilities handling oils must follow established procedures to minimize risks of oil spills.”
Following EPA’s inspection and contacts with the company, Draper Energy has been taking steps to bring its facilities into compliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.
In addition to the CWA violations, Draper Energy violated EPCRA by failing to file emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms with the local and state emergency planning authorities. Any facility that stores greater than 10,000 gallons of gasoline or oil is required to properly notify state and local authorities about the storage of these produces so they can properly prepare for accidents or releases from a facility.