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Environmental Protection Agency fines 2 Hawaii companies over jet fuel release

Leila Fujimori

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined two companies $150,000 for the release of 42,000 gallons of jet fuel in late 2014 at a bulk fuel storage facility on Sand Island.

Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corp. (HFFC) and Signature Flight Support LLC (SFSC) aka Signature Flight Support Corporation, must also make improvements at the facility.

The former operator, Aircraft Service International Group, reported on Jan. 21, 2015 the fuel spill to the Department of Health and the National Response Center, estimating 42,000 gallons of jet fuel had been released through one tank’s bottom.

However, the operator was aware of the leak on Dec. 22, 2014, but failed to report it to the authroties until a month later, after the tank lost 42,000 gallons of fuel, which leached into the ground, an EPA spokesman said at the time.

Of that amount, 1,944 gallons of fuel had been recovered outside the facility. The tank is one of 16 bulk above-ground storage tanks.

The tank is just 150 feet away from the ocean, and the fuel had contaminated soil and groundwater to a depth of 2 to 3 feet in February 2015.

EPA inspectors determined non-compliance of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule.

The regulation requires the facility to provide a secondary containment that is “sufficiently impervious” for above-ground storage tanks, and the ability to retain an oil spill until it can be cleaned up.

The EPA requires the companies to take the following actions:

>>Install a double-bottom tank floor on all remaining single bottom tanks by Dec. 31, 2028.

>>Conduct more frequent physical tank inspections until all tanks are retrofitted with double bottom.

>>Implement additional monitoring to detect leaks.

>>Install impervious liner within three years or implement improved sub-surface slurry wall and revise the facility’s SPCC plan within 90 days of installation.

The EPA says: “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.”

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