(Seattle) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a significant case against Crowley Fuels of Alaska for violations of federal environmental laws at the company’s bulk gasoline storage facilities in Juneau, Ketchikan, Douglas, and Palmer.
The company has agreed to pay a penalty of $1,337,365.
EPA found that Crowley failed to install vapor emissions controls on the gasoline storage tanks and loading rack at its Juneau terminal in violation of the Clean Air Act. As a result of operating the Juneau terminal without the required controls, EPA estimates that 110,000 pounds of excess gasoline vapors escaped to the environment. Gasoline vapors are a known source of benzene, a known carcinogen, and toluene, which is a central nervous system depressant.
Specifically, the company violated the New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for bulk gasoline terminals at its Juneau terminal by not having air pollution controls to capture vapors released from gasoline storage tanks and a loading rack used to fill tanker trucks.
EPA also found that Crowley violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act when it failed to report information about certain chemicals and chemical compounds at its Juneau and Ketchikan terminal facilities annually from 2013 to 2018. Crowley Fuels processed liquid petroleum which contained benzene, cyclohexane, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, toluene, xylene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, n-Hexane, and lead compounds in quantities that exceeded their threshold reporting amounts.
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, facilities that use certain toxic chemicals above specified thresholds must file annual reports of their chemical releases and transfers with EPA and their appropriate state agency. The information collected by EPA from industrial and federal facilities using these chemicals serves as the basis of the Toxics Release Inventory, a national database that can be reviewed by communities, government and industry. Because Crowley’s TRI forms were not submitted in a timely manner, the information for these chemicals was not available to the public.
On September 16, 2020 EPA issued an administrative compliance order on consent that requires the company to either install air pollution control equipment on the storage tanks and the truck loading rack at the Juneau terminal by July 2021 or convert the terminal to diesel-only service. Also, the company has submitted and certified outstanding Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports.
“Communities where facilities like this exist should expect the company is obeying all laws meant to protect them from dangerous chemicals,” said Chris Hladick, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle. “We’re pleased the company came to the table immediately upon being informed of the violations and committed to correcting them.”
For a copy of the order on the Clean Air Act violations, call Bill Dunbar at 206-345-7452.
The EPA order on the EPCRA violations can be found here: Crowley Fuels EPCRA.
Click on the link for more information about federal rules governing bulk gasoline facilities.
Click on the link for more information about EPCRA and TRI