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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA requires Fairfield, Calif. resin manufacturer to protect waterways from oil spills

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (Huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Sunpol Resins & Polymers, Inc., to resolve federal Clean Water Act violations at its manufacturing facility in Fairfield, California. Sunpol will pay a $41,600 penalty as part of the agreement, and has already corrected its oil pollution prevention violations.

"Protecting California's waterways from oil pollution is critical," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "As a result of this enforcement action, the Suisun Marsh is better protected from possible spills and the resulting environmental degradation."

An EPA investigation found that Sunpol-whose product line includes resins used in coatings for pipes and fertilizer pellets-was out of compliance with several Clean Water Act pollution prevention requirements. Sunpol had failed to develop, certify and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan containing all measures needed to prevent and respond to oil spills. Also, some parts of the facility lacked necessary containment systems or drainage control measures, such as using drip pans to catch spills when pumping oil between containers. Above-ground oil storage tanks also lacked adequate secondary containment, which must be in place to keep spilled oil from leaving the site and entering surrounding waters. A simple berm made of earth or concrete can control such spills.

EPA also recently settled with West Newport Oil Company for failure to have an adequate and complete SPCC Plan for its facility in Costa Mesa, California. West Newport Oil was fined $7,000 for failing to appropriately amend and re-certify its plan; identify suitable inspection criteria; and organize procedures so that they can provide complete information to proper authorities during an emergency.

EPA's proposed Clean Water Act settlements for the Sunpol Resins & Polymers, Inc. and West Newport Oil cases are subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval and are available at:

The goal of EPA's oil pollution prevention regulations, as required by the Clean Water Act, is to keep oil spills from polluting the nation's waterways and nearby environments. Specific prevention measures include developing and implementing SPCC Plans and establishing necessary spill response capabilities.

For more information on the SPCC program, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations

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