Idaho Oil Distributor Agrees to $123,000 SPCC Settlement

Franklin United, Inc. (also known as United Oil) has agreed to pay a $32,680 penalty to settle Clean Water Act violations. According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency press release, the alleged violations occurred at United Oil’s gasoline and diesel bulk fuel storage, distribution, and card lock retail facility in Jerome, Idaho.

EPA alleges that United Oil is in violation of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulations, which require, among other things, the preparation of an SPCC plan to guide the facility on preventing and responding to petroleum spills. During an EPA inspection of United Oil facility in June 2007, inspectors determined that United Oil had a plan but had not implemented most of it, the March 2 press release stated. There were many violations of the regulations, but the most important was that United Oil had inadequate secondary containment around its above-ground tanks and no containment at its loading/off loading rack. The facility is used for storing, distributing, and selling gasoline and diesel products. To date, this is the largest SPCC penalty in Idaho.

United Oil also has agreed to spend at least $90,600 on implementing a Supplemental Environmental Project. The project includes the purchase of two trailers equipped with oil spill response equipment that United Oil will donate to emergency response units in Twin Falls and Idaho Falls. United Oil has also installed new remote sensing equipment to monitor for accidental overfills of some of its tanks.

“The SPCC regulations are designed so that control measures are in place before a spill occurs,” said Edward Kowalski, EPA director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “We therefore take seriously the need to install containment structures and other preventative measures to help ensure that spills don’t occur, and if they do occur, that they will be contained.”