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Attleboro, Mass. Company Faces Fine for an inadequate Oil Spill Prevention Plan


An Attleboro manufacturer of industrial and pharmaceutical food coatings faces an EPA fine for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

An EPA administrative complaint alleges that Mantrose-Haeuser Co. Inc. failed to adequately prepare and implement a “Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure” (SPCC) plan for their Attleboro, Mass. facility. The complaint also alleges that the facility violated the Clean Water Act by illegally discharging oil to waters of the U.S.

An EPA inspection of the Attleboro facility found that the company had failed to prepare an adequate SPCC plan for the site, and failed to construct adequate containment for the off-loading area associated with the bulk oil storage tanks. Secondary containment for drum storage areas was also found to be insufficient. In addition, the inspector noted signs of oil staining and evidence of prior spillage throughout the off-loading area.

Spill prevention and control laws help ensure that a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil being released into drinking water wells, rivers or streams. For the alleged violations of the federal SPCC requirements, the Mantrose-Haeuser Co. faces a maximum penalty of $157,500.

“Oil spills can do significant damage to the environment, including to surface waters providing habitat for fish and wildlife, said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “It’s very important that facilities handling oils take the correct steps to minimize risks of oil spills.”

Also related to this complaint, it was revealed during the EPA inspection that an unknown quantity of oil leaked from a high pressure washing device at the Mantrose-Haeuser facility. The discharged oil was observed flowing onto the parking lot and subsequently entering an on-site storm drain which discharged directly to the Ten Mile River, resulting in sheening on the river at the outfall location. Fortunately, no lasting environmental damage was evident as a result of the release.

Following EPA’s inspection and contacts with the company, Mantrose-Haeuser Co. has been responsive to EPA’s requests to bring the Attleboro facility into compliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations. The company has indicated in letters to EPA that it plans to revise its SPCC plan for the Attleboro facility and perform other corrective actions.


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