Asphalt Company Pays for Connecticut River Oil Spill

A Portland, Conn.-based asphalt company has agreed to pay $68,400 in penalties for failing to comply with federal regulations designed to prevent oil spills from reaching waterways. According to EPA, Triram Connecticut LLC illegally discharged approximately 1,000 gallons of oil from its facility to the Connecticut River in January 2009. The oil spill occurred when piping connecting a 13,000 gallon oil tank to a boiler failed and released 8,000 gallons of oil into the facility's secondary containment area.

The oil discharged into the river prompted an emergency response from the local fire department and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Triram also hired an oil spill response company to contain the spilled oil and spent more than half-a-million dollars on the clean up.

EPA's New England office determined that the company had failed to fully maintain and implement its Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, as required by the Clean Water Act. These oil spill prevention regulations require that specific preventative measures be taken at facilities that store greater than 1,320 gallons of oil, and could reasonably be anticipated to release oil products into a waterway of the United States or adjoining shoreline areas. EPA said these regulations help ensure that tank failures or accidental spills do not lead to oil contamination of surface waters, such as rivers or streams, which could harm human and ecological health.

"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 Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the agency's New England office. "We hope this enforcement action will encourage all companies that store significant quantities of oil to follow the established procedures to prevent and minimize the impacts of oil spills."

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