Boston, Mass. -- The Miller Company, Inc. of Meriden, Conn. has agreed to spend $25,000 to purchase and provide emergency response equipment for the Meriden Fire Department under a settlement with EPA for claims that the company violated the Clean Water Act and federal regulations designed to prevent oil spills from reaching waterways.
The “supplemental environmental project” will improve the fire department’s ability to respond to oil spills and other releases, which will help protect the environment and public health as well as enhance the safety of first responders. As part of the settlement, the company will also pay $7,500.
The Miller Company manufactures copper base alloys at its Meriden facility. According to the EPA complaint, the facility has a total oil storage capacity of over 50,000 gallons. On Dec. 21, 2010, an oil sheen was discovered in Harbor Brook, approximately 1.25 miles from the company’s facility. Subsequent investigations by the company, the Conn. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection, and by EPA identified the source of the oil spill as an overfilled tank at the company’s facility.
EPA’s complaint asserts that the company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging a harmful quantity of oil into Harbor Brook, and for failing to fully maintain and implement a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, as required by the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.
The oil spill prevention regulations require that specific preventative measures be taken at facilities that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil, and which could reasonably be anticipated to release oil products into nearby surface waters or shorelines. These regulations help ensure that tank failures or accidental spills do not lead to oil contamination of surface waters, such as rivers or streams, which could harm human and ecological health.