Stonington company faces fines

Posted Oct. 28, 2008, at 9:02 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 5:58 a.m.

STONINGTON, Maine — A local oil distribution company has been fined $8,000 for failing to take required precautions against possible oil spills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

An inspection by the EPA and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found that R.L. Greenlaw’s oil storage facilities in Stonington had failed to fully implement adequate spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans for two sites — on Sea Breeze Avenue and Indian Point Road, the EPA said Tuesday in a prepared release.

The $8,000 fine is considerably less than the potential fine the agency had cited earlier this year. In May, the EPA indicated the company could face fines of more than $150,000.

According to the EPA release, the company failed to maintain sufficiently impervious secondary containment for its oil tanks at both locations and failed to construct adequate containment for the loading and unloading areas at the Sea Breeze Avenue facility, which are adjacent to the harbor. The two facilities also lacked adequate security measures, which are required by EPA regulations to prevent unauthorized access to oil storage containers.

Spill prevention and control laws help ensure that a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil being released into surface waters such as harbors, rivers or streams, according to the agency. The regulations require that certain spill prevention and response measures be implemented at facilities that store oil above threshold amounts. Both R.L. Greenlaw oil storage facilities are located directly adjacent to Penobscot Bay, thus posing a threat to the bay if spills were to occur.

R.L. Greenlaw submitted and has begun implementing corrective action plans for both facilities. These plans include liquid-tightness tests at the Sea Breeze Avenue site to identify leaking areas in the containment walls and floor, dike repairs, and construction of poured concrete spill containment areas for the oil transfer areas.

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