News Releases from Region 09

Under settlement, owner and operator will pay a fine, make improvements at facility

06/08/2021

U.S. EPA penalizes Hawaii fuel storage facility for violating oil spill prevention requirements

Under settlement, owner and operator will pay a fine, make improvements at facility

Honolulu, HI. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corporation (HFFC) and Signature Flight Support, LLC — also known as Signature Flight Support Corporation (SFSC) – to resolve violations of the Oil Pollution Act. The violations are related to the bulk fuel storage facility on Sand Island, in Honolulu, that is owned by HFFC and operated by SFSC. The facility stores and distributes jet fuel to the Honolulu International Airport. The settlement includes a commitment from HFFC and SFSC to make improvements at the facility to come into compliance with oil spill prevention requirements. The two companies will also pay a penalty.

The Sand Island facility has 16 bulk aboveground storage tanks. In January 2015, the former operator noticed an inventory discrepancy in one of the tanks and estimated that 42,000 gallons of jet fuel had been released through the tank’s bottom. Approximately 1,944 gallons of fuel were recovered outside of the facility boundaries. This release and information gathered by EPA inspectors revealed non-compliance with the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule, a regulation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The SPCC Rule requires the facility to provide “sufficiently impervious” secondary containment for above-ground storage tanks as well as the ability to retain an oil spill until clean-up can occur.

“It is paramount that facilities properly prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan to prevent discharges of oil to Hawaii’s waterways,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, Amy Miller. “Companies that do not comply can face significant penalties.”

Under the terms of the settlement HFFC and SFSC are required to take the following actions:

  • Install a double bottom tank floor on all remaining single bottom tanks by December 31, 2028.
  • Conduct more frequent physical tank inspections until all tanks are retrofitted with a double bottom.
  • Implement additional monitoring to detect leaks.
  • Install an impervious liner within three years, or alternatively, implement an improved sub-surface slurry wall and revise the facility’s SPCC plan within 90 days of installation.
  • Pay a civil penalty of $150,000.

Failure to implement measures required by the SPCC Rule can result in an imminent and substantial threat to public health or the welfare of fish and other wildlife, public and private property, shorelines, habitat, and other living and nonliving natural resources.

To find information on EPA’s oil spill prevention and preparedness regulations, visit: https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations#main-content

For information on the public notice, visit: https://www.epa.gov/hi/proposed-settlement-cwa-section-311-class-ii-administrative-penalty-hawaii-fueling-facilities

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

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