Connecticut Company to Pay $35,000 for Oil Spill


Erickson Metals Corp., a Cheshire, Conn., aluminum processing company, agreed to pay a penalty of $35,000 to settle EPA claims that it failed to prepare an oil spill prevention plan, which led to an oil spill in July 2006, damaging wildlife and surrounding bodies of water.

The agreement, announced on Oct. 11, settles claims cited in a complaint filed by EPA's New England office last summer against the company, for illegally discharging as much as 6,000 gallons of cutting oil from its facility. The oil spill occurred as a result of a ruptured water tank that ultimately caused oil to be released to a nearby pond, Judd Brook, and the Tenmile River, oiling birds, turtles, and damaging aquatic vegetation.

The oil discharge prompted an emergency response, including EPA, the local fire department and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. EPA's New England office determined that the company had not prepared a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, as required by the Clean Water Act. SPCC plans specify spill prevention and response measures at facilities that store oil above threshold amounts and help ensure that a tank failure or oil spill does not lead to oil reaching bodies of water. After the spill, the facility worked cooperatively with EPA and prepared an SPCC plan.

"This case exemplifies the value and importance of preparing plans and taking actions to prevent oil spills before they occur," said Robert W. Varney, EPA Region 1 administrator. "We are pleased to see that Erickson worked cooperatively to ensure that an incident such as this one does not happen again in the future."

For more information on EPA's oil spill regulations, visit www.epa.gov/oilspill.

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