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Taunton Heating Oil Company to Pay $5,000 for Violations of Oil Regulations

Release Date: 09/29/04
Contact Information:

Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

For Immediate Release: Sept. 29, 2004 Release # 04-09-14

BOSTON – A heating oil company in Taunton has agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it discharged oil into nearby rivers, and failed to comply with regulations related to the storage of oil, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

According to the settlement agreement filed this week, the Taunton Oil Company, a home heating oil storage and distribution company, violated the Clean Water Act when it discharged 966 gallons of No. 2 heating oil from its oil delivery truck on Dec. 30, 2003 at the Taunton Oil facility. The spill occurred as a result of a failed connection between the truck and its storage tanks, and led to contaminated soil on the site. In addition, a significant quantity of oil flowed into the Mill and Taunton rivers, and oil was observed as far as five miles downstream from the spill site.

A subsequent EPA inspection determined Taunton Oil did not have an adequate Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plan at the time, in violation of the agency’s Oil Pollution Prevention regulations under the Clean Water Act.

“Taunton Oil’s failure to have formal plans in place for preventing and addressing oil spills was a direct factor in last year’s spill that damaged the environment," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "We hope this action will help other oil handlers be more vigilant about compliance in the future."

In addition to paying a penalty, Taunton Oil has agreed to permanently close its Taunton facility, which includes emptying and cleaning its oil tanks and disconnecting piping from the tanks so they cannot be inadvertently re-filled.

Related Information:
Oil Storage Facility Spill Prevention and Planning
Oil Spills/SPCC Enforcement Program
Clean Water Act