EPA settles with L.A.-Area Amalie Oil for violating Clean Water Act
Enforcement action protects Los Angeles waterways and sensitive environments from potential oil pollution
SAN FRANCISCO - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Amalie Oil Company USA (AOCUSA) for violations of the Clean Water Act and its regulations related to oil pollution prevention at the company’s Vernon, Calif. facility. Under the settlement, AOCUSA will pay a $132,590 penalty.
“Facilities must comply with federal clean water laws or face significant fines,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “To protect our communities and aquatic environments, companies managing large quantities of oil must take actions to prevent and plan for oil spills.”
The facility, which stores and distributes oil, is located approximately one mile from the Los Angeles River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Downstream sensitive habitats include the Golden Shore Marine Reserve that is designated as an area of the “highest concern for protection” according to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Area Contingency Plan (ACP). ACPs are developed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a way to prepare for potential major oil spills.
During an October 2021 inspection EPA found that the company violated the Clean Water Act's Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations. As a result of EPA’s enforcement action, AOCUSA has:
- Approved, certified, and implemented an adequate Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan that addresses adequate secondary containment for oil containers and vessels.
- Updated its oil tank testing and inspection schedule.
- Developed, certified, and implemented its Facility Response Plan (FRP) to respond to oil spills should they occur.
EPA’s Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations aim to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines and to ensure containment of oil discharges in the event of a spill. Specific prevention measures include developing and implementing spill prevention plans, training staff, and installing physical controls to contain and clean up oil spills.
The requirement to develop an FRP applies to facilities that could reasonably be expected to cause “substantial harm” to the environment by discharging oil into or on navigable waters. FRPs demonstrate a facility’s preparedness to respond to a worst-case oil discharge. FRPs also help local and regional response authorities better understand potential hazards and response capabilities in their area.
Learn more about the EPA’s oil spill prevention program.
Learn more about the Los Angeles/Long Beach Area Contingency Plan.