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Release Date: 08/09/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Notice of Violation to Shell Oil Company for its violations of the Clean Air Act at a bulk petroleum terminal the company owned in Bridgeport, Conn., until Oct. 1, 1998.

EPA-New England also issued a Notice of Violation to the current owner of the facility, Motiva Enterprises, for Clean Air Act violations that continue at the terminal, which supplies gas and diesel fuel products to tank trucks for delivery to gas stations. Motiva is a joint venture between Shell, Texaco and Saudi Refining Inc.

According to a Notice of Violation filed this week by EPA, Shell loaded a total of 28.4 million gallons of gasoline onto barges without required vapor recovery equipment on seven days in 1997. This loading resulted in about 56 tons of uncontrolled volatile organic compound emissions to the atmosphere in an area of New England that has severe air pollution conditions. The state of Connecticut requires vapor collection and disposal systems for anyone loading gas into delivery vehicles, including barges.

After an inspection of the terminal May 10, 1999, EPA also found that Shell had added an additional loading bay to its existing loading rack in 1995 without getting a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, as required by law. This modification has the potential to create 30 tons per year more of volatile organic compound emissions. Since buying the terminal from Shell, Motiva has also failed to apply for the necessary state permits.

"Residents of Bridgeport already face more than their fair share unhealthy air conditions," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "Shell, and now Motiva's failure to follow Clean Air Act regulations at their fuel terminal has only added to the problem. We expect the company to remedy its violations immediately."

The actions against Motiva and Shell stem from a routine inspection done by EPA in 1997XXX, which lead the agency to issue an NOV against Shell for violating state reporting regulations and regulations for emission control equipment