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EPA Settlement Provides Caribbean’s Emergency Responders with New Equipment

09/30/2019
Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (covington.tayler@epa.gov)
212) 637-3662
Brenda Reyes (reyes.brenda@epa.gov)
(787) 977-5869

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico  –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. will provide the Puerto Rico Department of Public Security and the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Department of the Virgin Islands Ports Authority with $110,000 worth of emergency equipment as part of a settlement of alleged violations of provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) governing handling hazardous waste. The new equipment and gear will aid responders in addressing fires and emergencies that may cause serious damage to properties, human health, and the environment.

“This settlement ensures that Total Petroleum is complying with hazardous waste laws at the same time it provides a concrete benefit to the communities in areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands where the company supplies fuel,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Through this settlement, we are not only reducing the chance of a mishap resulting from poor hazardous waste practices, we are also improving emergency preparedness at these facilities by improving the equipment that would be used to respond to any mishaps at these facilities.”

Total Petroleum is a petroleum products wholesale distributor for gas stations and aviation fuel supply at three locations: the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico; the Guaynabo Bulk Terminal, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; and the Cyril King Airport in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. In August 2015 and March and April 2017, EPA inspected the three facilities and cited Total Petroleum for six violations: failure to make a hazardous waste determination; operation of hazardous waste storage facilities without a RCRA permit; failure to minimize risk; failure to have a proper contingency plan; failure to maintain containers with hazardous waste closed and in good condition; and, failure to comply with universal waste management requirements. As a result of this enforcement action, Total Petroleum has corrected the violations and has committed in the settlement to maintain compliance. The settlement includes a penalty of $180,000 for the past violations.

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