EPA Settles with Shoreside Petroleum for Violating Federal Clean Air Rules at Fuel Terminals in Seward and Cordova, Alaska
Suzanne Skadowski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shoreside Petroleum, Inc., based in Anchorage, has paid $89,000 in penalties for violating federal clean air rules designed to prevent toxic air pollution at the company’s fuel terminals in Seward and Cordova, Alaska. Shoreside Petroleum’s terminals receive gasoline from marine barge vessels and transport trucks, store gasoline in large fixed-roof tanks, and load gasoline into tank trucks for delivery to area customers.
In a settlement announced today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges that Shoreside Petroleum violated multiple Clean Air Act rules at both of the company’s Seward and Cordova terminals. To resolve the violations and return to compliance, the company also spent approximately $402,000 to install and test pollution controls and began checking for leaks and reporting results to EPA. After installing the required controls, EPA estimates that the company’s air pollution emissions were reduced by approximately 30 tons per year in Seward and nine tons per year in Cordova.
According to Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA Region 10's Office of Compliance and Enforcement:
“To protect the health of their workers and the surrounding community, bulk gasoline terminals need to have pollution controls in place to prevent the release of harmful gas vapors, a known source of air toxics. Operating bulk gasoline terminals without the required pollution controls and monitoring for leaks are serious violations that we enforce aggressively.”
Shoreside Petroleum originally self-disclosed its violations to EPA in November 2014. The violations, some dating back to 2005, include: failing to install vapor capture and control systems on the Seward loading rack and on storage tanks at both terminals, failing to limit gas loading to vapor-tight tank trucks, and failing to check for leaks in the gasoline service equipment during loading. Because of its 2014 self-disclosure to EPA, the company qualified for EPA’s Self-Audit program which resulted in a significant penalty reduction. To take advantage of these incentives, facilities must voluntarily discover, promptly disclose to EPA, expeditiously correct, and prevent recurrence of future violations. EPA encourages companies to self-disclose violations discovered during routine environmental compliance audits: https://www.epa.gov/compliance/epas-audit-policy.
The Clean Air Act requires bulk gasoline terminals to capture and control vapors from tanker truck loading racks and storage tanks. The rules also require that all fuel loading must be limited to vapor-tight gasoline tank trucks. In addition, the vapor collection and processing systems, and loading racks handling gasoline, must be inspected monthly to check for fuel or vapor leaks. Gasoline vapors contain air toxics such as benzene and toluene, which can cause cancer or other serious health effects including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and reproductive effects or birth defects.
Clean Air Act rules for gasoline terminals: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/gasoline-distribution-mact-and-gact-national-emission-standards#additional-resources.