Proposed Settlement Resolves Clean Air Act Claims Between EPA and South Portland, Maine Facility
BOSTON – A South Portland, Maine, facility that stores oil and asphalt will see a reduction in the amount of emissions it is allowed as a result of an agreement reached with federal agencies.
Under a proposed settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice, Global Partners LP, Global Companies LLC, and Chelsea Sandwich LLC, all collectively known as Global, will take steps to help limit emissions of volatile organic compounds from heated tanks in South Portland that store asphalt and residual #6 fuel oil.
In addition, Global will install mist eliminator systems on the tanks to address local air impacts. Global also will invest at least $150,000 in a project to encourage the replacement or upgrades of wood stoves in the area. Finally, the company will pay a $40,000 penalty to settle charges by EPA’s New England office that it violated certain provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Global owns and operates a petroleum product storage and distribution facility on Clark Road in South Portland. As part of its operations, Global stores and distributes #6 oil and asphalt, both of which are stored in heated tanks. Data from emissions testing indicates these tanks emit VOCs at substantially higher levels than previously estimated.
Under the agreement, Global will apply for a revised permit from Maine that will limit the amount of #6 oil and asphalt the company can pass through the facility and will limit the number of days it can heat the tanks and the number of tanks that can store #6 oil at any one time.
The wood stove replacement program will provide vouchers for owners of wood-burning stoves in the South Portland area to help cover the cost of replacing or retrofitting older residential wood‑burning stoves with cleaner-burning, more efficient heating equipment.
VOCs include a variety of chemicals that may produce adverse health effects such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidney, and the central nervous system. VOCs also contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly, and anyone with lung diseases such as asthma. Ground level ozone can also have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation and ecosystems.
For more information:
- The proposed Consent Decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. For more information, copies of the Complaint and the Consent Decree will be available on the Department of Justice website at: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees
- EPA information on Clean Air Act requirements are available at: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/air-enforcement