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EPA Fines Four Waste Oil Handlers in Puerto Rico and The Virgin Island A Total Of $92,500 For Violating Federal Law

Release Date: 02/11/1997
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(#97052) SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued complaints and proposed fines totalling $92,500 against two companies and two municipalities that mismanaged used oil in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The mismanagement of used oil poses significant environmental problems when leaks or spills contaminate soil, groundwater or surface waters. EPA developed Used Oil Management Standards, which became effective on March 8, 1993, to prevent such problems. These management standards and procedures apply to used oil generators, transporters, processors, re-refiners, burners and marketers. In 1996, EPA conducted seminars and provided educational assistance to those handling used oil in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Ready Mix Concrete failed to register with EPA and obtain an EPA identification number before transporting more than 3,860 gallons of used oil from several of its plants to its Carolina facility between March 1994 and November 1995. The company also failed to register its Carolina facility for the storage of used oil for more than 35 days. Ready Mix Concrete also failed to have access to communication or alarm systems in the event of a used oil spill and to submit to local authorities a plan to handle a spill. For these violations, EPA has proposed a civil penalty of $49,500.

When EPA inspected a municipal motor pool located in Sector Ramal, Guerrero Ward, Isabela, it found used oil in unlabelled containers that were in poor condition and leaking. In addition, EPA found that there had been no effort to stop or contain the spills, replace the leaking containers or to clean up the spilled used oil. The Agency has proposed a civil penalty of $13,500.

EPA also inspected the motor pool garage of the municipality of Ponce where it found used oil spills in different locations on the property. Again, there was no apparent effort to clean up or contain the spills. EPA has proposed a civil penalty of $9,500.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, EPA found that Four Star Aviation, Inc. failed to register and obtain an EPA identification number before transporting used oil from its facility in St. Thomas to its warehouse in San Juan, Puerto Rico between December 1994 and September 1996. EPA has proposed a civil penalty of $20,000.

For more information contact:
Carl Soderberg
EPA Caribbean Environmental Protection Division
1492 ponce De Leon Avenue
Santurce, PR 00909
Voice: 787-729-6951 FAX: 787-729-7747 E-Mail: