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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA requires San Jose oil storage facility to improve plans, reduce risk of spills into San Francisco Bay

Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (Calvino.Maria@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a proposed settlement with Southern Counties Oil Co., known as SC Fuels, for violations of federal oil pollution prevention regulations at its facility in San Jose, Calif. SC Fuels will pay a $75,000 penalty and has come into compliance with the law.

SC Fuels operates a petroleum bulk storage and distribution plant located 500 feet from Lower Silver Creek, a tributary of Coyote Creek, which flows into San Francisco Bay. A March 2015 inspection by EPA found that the company violated the Clean Water Act's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rules by:

  • failing to construct adequate secondary containment (dikes and berms) around tanks to prevent oil from entering nearby waters in case of a spill
  • failing to keep accurate descriptions of the locations and contents of its oil tanks
  • failing to complete inspection and tank integrity testing on a regular schedule
  • failing to obtain approval of the facility’s spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plan

“Companies operating near our waterways must implement detailed oil spill prevention plans,” said Kathleen Johnson, Enforcement Division Director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Today’s action is taken to protect San Francisco Bay from potential spills.”

EPA's proposed Clean Water Act settlement for SC Fuels is subject to a 30-day public comment period.  Information on how to provide comment on this proposed settlement can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-sc-fuels.html

The goal of EPA's oil pollution prevention regulations is to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines, and to ensure that companies are able to adequately respond to and contain discharges of oil. The regulation requires onshore oil storage facilities to develop and implement plans and to establish procedures, methods, and equipment in case a spill occurs.

For more information on the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rule, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations

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