Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DEP Assesses $745K In Penalties Against Pipeline Company For Storage Tank Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday assessed two civil penalties totaling $745,000 against Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals, Inc. for multiple violations at two facilities in Philadelphia.
In December 2014, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Pipeline was fined $800,000 by DEP in a settlement of erosion and sedimentation violations in four counties.
Through two separate Consent Assessments of Civil Penalty, Kinder Morgan has agreed to resolve civil penalty liability for violations of the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act at both the Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminal (“Liquids Terminal”) on N. Delaware Ave. and Kinder Morgan Point Breeze Terminal (“Point Breeze Terminal”) on Passyunk Ave.
The first penalty, in the amount of $570,000, addresses violations relating to a release of approximately 8,000 gallons of fuel grade ethanol from an aboveground storage tank at the Liquids Terminal, which reached soil and groundwater through a failed containment structure.
Kinder Morgan neglected to investigate a suspected release as quickly as the law requires and was untimely with the notification of the release to downstream water users.
DEP is working with Kinder Morgan on improving its procedures for responding to a release and on ensuring the adequacy of all of its containment structures. Kinder Morgan is in the process of cleaning this site.
The second penalty, in the amount of $175,000, addresses violations relating to stormwater accumulation in emergency release containment structures throughout the Point Breeze Terminal.
Emergency containment structures are designed to prevent contamination from entering the environment, which in this case includes surrounding exceptional value wetlands and the Delaware River, in the event of a catastrophic release from a large aboveground storage tank.
When those structures are filled with stormwater, they cannot serve that function and can contribute to corrosion of the tanks that they hold. Because Kinder Morgan never notified DEP of the problem, DEP could not offer assistance in resolving the violation in a timely manner.
“Whether it be a product release or the failure to follow regulatory requirements, we take our mission to provide for the health and safety of our citizens very seriously,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley. “Economic opportunities must be pursued responsibly, safeguarding public health and the environment.  We expect that this penalty will result in strengthened safeguards across the board.”
Money from the civil penalty goes to DEP’s Storage Tank Fund, which is administered by the Department for use in programs designed to ensure proper monitoring, operation, and remediation of releases from aboveground and underground tanks that contain a variety of regulated petroleum and chemical substances.
Related Stories:
DEP: $800K Settlement Against Tennessee Gas Pipeline For Violations In 4 Counties

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