BP Products North America, Inc. Curtis Bay Terminal Settlement
(Washington, DC - September 27, 2012) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that BP Products North America, Inc. will pay a $210,000 penalty and implement an enhanced oil spill response program at its oil terminals nationwide, as well as a comprehensive compliance audit to resolve alleged violations of oil spill response regulations at its Curtis Bay Terminal in Md.
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Overview of Company
BP Products North America, Inc., (“BP Products NA”) headquartered in Warrenville IL, engages in the exploration, development, production and marketing of oil and natural gas, and operates petroleum refineries. The Curtis Bay Terminal is located in Curtis Bay, Maryland and has the capacity to store approximately 21,840,000 gallons of oil in aboveground storage tanks.
The complaint alleges violations of Section 311(b)(7(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and 40 CFR Sections 112.20 and 112.21 at BP Products NA’s Curtis Bay Terminal. The violations are in connection with the unsuccessful completion of two government-initiated unannounced exercises. Government-initiated unannounced exercises are utilized to determine whether Facility Response Plan facilities are capable of responding to oil spills to waters of the United States and their adjoining shorelines. In connection with the two failed drills, the complaint alleges the following violations:
- Inadequate Facility Response Plan (“FRP”). BP Products NA failed to identify sufficient response resources.
- Inadequate implementation of the FRP. BP Products NA failed to successfully demonstrate the capacity to respond to a small scale discharge of fuel oil from Curtis Bay Terminal into Curtis Creek by deploying 1,000 feet of oil containment boom within one hour pursuant to two government-initiated unannounced exercises.
- Inadequate training, drills and exercises program. BP Products NA failed to determine that the ”Oil Spill Removal Organization” (OSRO) had completed and sufficiently documented successful equipment deployment exercises. (An OSRO is a Coast Guard-licensed third party that provides oil spill response services to terminals, pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 112.2.)
EPA estimates that BP Products NA will spend at least $1.4 million to complete required injunctive relief and bring its operations into compliance with the FRP regulations, as follows:
- Curtis Bay Terminal
- Comply with FRP regulations
- Conduct a non-government initiated exercise with the terminal’s OSRO within six months of the effective date of the consent decree
- Complete one exercise involving the terminal’s OSRO within three months of any amendment to the FRP in which BP selects a new OSRO or changes the role of the OSRO
- Allow no more than 24 months between exercises involving the OSRO
- Create and retain detailed records of training, drills and exercises and submit those records to EPA for three years
- Third Party Compliance Audit (12 facilities)
- Undertake independent audits at 12 marine and high-risk inland petroleum product terminals in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, Illinois, California, Oregon and Washington that will determine whether:
- each terminal is in compliance with the FRP regulations;
- the FRPs are tailored to each terminal’s geographic circumstances; and
- the FRPs include sufficient resources to address all identified spill scenarios for each facility.
- Require the independent auditor to submit a report to EPA including information about the audit results at each petroleum products terminal. The report is to include all instances of non-compliance with the FRP requirements
- Disclose and correct all regulatory non-compliance uncovered by the audits, and pay a penalty for all identified violations
- Best Practices
- Implement a series of spill prevention measures that exceed existing regulatory requirements at its 33 existing non-refinery petroleum products terminals in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, California, Oregon and Washington) as well as at any additional petroleum products terminals BP Products NA subsequently owns or operates. As part of this program, BP Products NA has agreed to:
- Review and revise its FRPs for these facilities to ensure appropriate spill prevention safeguards that are tailored to the conditions at each facility;
- Perform enhanced training, drills and exercises, exceeding regulatory requirements; and
- Repeat any failed drills and exercises within 90 days.
Due to the fact that the FRP regulations and the injunctive relief contained in the settlement are preventative in nature, it is not possible to estimate a specific total pollutant reduction associated with this Consent Decree. The preventive actions at the Curtis Bay Facility have the potential to reduce 21,840,000 gallons of future oil spills from that location.
Health and Environmental Effects
The injunctive relief is designed to protect against and reduce the potential impact of small to catastrophic discharges of oil to waters of the United States and their adjoining shorelines.
BP will pay a $210,000 civil penalty for the violations alleged at the Curtis Bay Terminal.
The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comments is available at the Department of Justice website.
For additional information, contact
Water Enforcement Division
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (MC 2243A)
Washington, DC 20460