News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA Requires Salinas Facility to Reduce Risk of Spills to Monterey Bay Watershed
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Encore Oils, LLC and Ottone-Salinas, Inc., to take steps to reduce the risk of oil spills from their biodiesel processing facility in Salinas, CA to the Monterey Bay watershed. The agreement, which includes a $31,893 penalty, resolves several federal Clean Water Act violations.
Encore Oils, known as SeQuential, operates on property owned by Ottone-Salinas. The facility is located ten feet from Alisal Creek, a tributary of the Salinas River, which feeds into Monterey Bay. A September 2016 inspection by EPA found the company violated the Clean Water Act's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules by failure to:
- provide adequate secondary containment around tanks to keep spilled oil from leaving the site and entering surrounding waters
- use safe and appropriate containers for oil storage
- regularly conduct inspection and tank integrity testing
- provide and maintain records substantiating the company’s compliance with requirements, including inspection reports, and test records
Under the June 2017 agreement, SeQuential has implemented multiple safeguards to ensure spills will not discharge into nearby waterways, including permanently closing failing tanks and improving secondary containment. The company is in the process of installing new aboveground oil storage tanks to replace inadequate infrastructure.
"This agreement will help protect the sensitive ecosystems of Monterey Bay, the Salinas River, and Alisal Creek from upstream industrial activities," said Alexis Strauss, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Today’s action under the Clean Water Act highlights the need for companies operating near our waterways to comply with oil spill prevention plans."
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.
For more information on the SPCC program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations
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