US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Claremont, N.H. Auto Dealer Settles with EPA for Oil Spill


BOSTON -- Howe Motors Inc., a Claremont, N.H. auto dealer, has agreed to pay a penalty of $17,500 to settle EPA claims regarding a January 2014 oil spill, and inadequacies in Howe’s oil spill prevention plan.

The Jan. 2014 oil spill originated from tanks stored at the Howe Motors dealership, when a small quantity of oil was released to an unnamed stream that leads to the Sugar River. Additionally, in a subsequent March 2014 inspection, EPA alleged that the company’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, as required by the Clean Water Act, was not adequate.

SPCC plans specify spill prevention and response measures at facilities that store oil above threshold amounts and help ensure that a tank failure or oil spill does not lead to oil reaching bodies of water. After the spill, the facility has worked cooperatively with EPA and has prepared an acceptable SPCC plan.

“This case demonstrates clearly the value and importance of preparing sufficient plans and taking actions to prevent oil spills before they occur,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

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