The EPA and Encore Oils reached a settlement to reduce the risk of oil spills
Companies being compliant with the Clean Water Act is more important now than ever. Not only are strong containment spill pallets and spill decks key to preserving our environment, as we all do our part, but a facility having the required safeguards will prevent and reduce spills or environmental contamination, and eliminate failed inspections or fines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A recent December 22, 2017 settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Salinas, Ca. based biodiesel processing facility, Encore Oils, LLC and Ottone-Salinas, Inc., highlights the risks of not complying. Located just 10 feet away from Alisal Creek, which feeds into the Monterey Bay via the Salinas River, the EPA’s September 2016 inspection of the company’s adherence with the law, found numerous violations. Not only was Encore Oils, also called SeQuential, found to have violated the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Regulation, but also the EPA’s own Clean Water Act's Oil Spill Prevention.
To the tune of a penalty of $31,893, the company’s agreement with the EPA now includes specific guidelines which will correct and prevent violation of the law in future. The EPA’s own Acting Regional Administrator for the area and the Pacific Southwest was quoted, explaining, "This agreement will help protect the sensitive ecosystems of Monterey Bay, the Salinas River, and Alisal Creek from upstream industrial activities. Today’s action under the Clean Water Act highlights the need for companies operating near our waterways to comply with oil spill prevention plans.”.
Specifically, Encore Oils will now provide a secondary containment area around each tank to assure spilled oil will not leave the site and enter the nearby waters. Secondly, they will upgrade to only use safe and appropriate oil storage containers. They will regularly test each tank’s integrity and conduct regular inspections. Lastly, the company will establish and keep detailed records of all inspection reports, testing, and the requirements by which they must abide by.
Utilizing Thor Spill Products’ industry standard solutions will prevent future companies from meeting the same fate as Encore Oils. Two EPA safe options include Thor’s IBC Spill Pallets including an Ultratech 1000 Ultra-Spill Pallet P4 No Drain and IBC Spill Decks which are constructed of an UltraTech Polyethylene P2 4-Drum Ultra Spill Deck, have a 3000 lbs capacity and a 5 year warranty.