Company fined $32,000 for oil spills at delivery

Posted Oct. 22, 2008, at 10:13 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:03 a.m.

UNION, Maine — A regional home heating oil company has been fined $32,000 for oil spills while making deliveries to customers in Rockland, Warren and Washington.

Knox County District Court in August issued a consent decree and order against Butler, Maxcy & Heath Inc. after the Maine Department of Environmental Protection filed charges.

The company had violated Maine’s oil discharge prevention and pollution control laws and underground oil storage facilities and groundwater protection laws when employees overfilled above ground storage tanks four times, the DEP said.

“There were two spills in Rockland at the Masonic Temple, one in Washington and one in Warren,” said Laura K. Welles, district court enforcement manager for the DEP.

“In three of the instances, they failed to make a report and they failed to clean it up,” she said of BMH in an interview Wednesday.

“In one instance, they finally reported it, but they didn’t clean it up,” she said.

The DEP had to arrange for cleanup, although in one instance the fuel dealer helped with cleanup after being called by the DEP, she said.

When the company failed to remove the discharge and failed to pay the DEP for the cleanup, the state filed a suit in court. In the settlement, the company agreed to reimburse the DEP $32,285 for cleanup costs, pay a civil fine of $16,000 in four installments and pay an additional $16,000 if BMH violates a provision of the decree in the next five years.

The discharges occurred on December 2004, March 2005, November 2006 and February 2008, Welles said.

State law prohibits the discharge of oil on surface waters or any water supply or on lands near such waters, according to the decree. The definition of discharge includes spilling and leaking.

Anyone responsible for the discharge may clean it up within two hours without facing penalties.

Alan R. Heath, president of Butler, Maxcy & Heath, could not be reached for comment.

gchappell@bangordailynews.net

236-4598

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