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U.S. EPA recovers $1.45 million in cleanup costs from Powerine Oil Company: Powerine to pay for cleanup and oversight costs at three California Superfund Sites

Release Date: 02/13/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213/798-1404

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recovering $1.45 million from Powerine Oil Company and two related entities, CENCO Refining Company and Energy Merchant Corp., for cleanup costs at three southern California Superfund Sites - Waste Disposal, Inc. in Santa Fe Springs, Operating Industries, Inc. in Monterey Park, and Casmalia Resources in Casmalia.

According to a federal lawsuit filed in 2004, Powerine Oil Company sent hazardous substances, including oil refinery wastes, to all three sites, resulting in liability under the Superfund law. The EPA also alleges that Powerine Oil Company and its parent company, Energy Merchant Corp., illegally transferred assets when Powerine Oil Company distributed to Energy Merchant Corp. funds that should have been paid to the EPA.

"This settlement will bring valuable resources to help finance three very important and complex cleanup projects" said Keith Takata, director of EPA Region 9's Superfund Division. “We pursue financial settlements such as this one with Powerine, to recover the costs EPA spends to cleanup sites.”

In September 2006, the EPA certified that construction was complete at the WDI Site, but remedy operation and maintenance continues. The EPA has several cleanup projects to complete at the OII Site; the rest of the remedial work is being done by other liable parties at the site. The EPA is currently investigating and characterizing the Casmalia Site, conducting cleanup actions, overseeing the installation of permanent caps on several landfills, and groundwater monitoring.

Enacted by Congress in 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act created a “Superfund” account, which was originally funded by a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries, and provided broad federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.

For more information on the EPA’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, please visit: