PARIS – The CN Brown Company of Paris has been fined $157,500 by the federal Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to comply with oil-spill prevention requirements at seven of its oil storage and distribution facilities in Maine and New Hampshire.

David Deegan, spokesman for the EPA’s New England Region office in Boston, said Thursday that the settlement was made after U.S. EPA officials and those from the Maine and New Hampshire Departments of Environmental Protection, inspected seven of the local company’s oil storage facilities in both Maine and New Hampshire and found they did not have proper or adequate oil-spill prevention facilities in place. Two of the New Hampshire facilities are located in drinking-water protection areas, according to the EPA.

CN Brown is a major supplier of oil products to homes and businesses in the area, including gas stations in Oxford, Lewiston, Rumford, Farmington, Poland, Turner and Auburn and elsewhere.

Neither company president Jinger Duryea nor the company spokesman was available for comment Thursday, according to an employee who answered the company phone.

According to the EPA inspection, all seven facilities lacked adequate secondary containment for some portion of each facility and some of the facilities lacked secondary containment for bulk-oil storage tanks and transfer areas. None of the loading racks at any of the facilities was provided with adequate secondary containment.

Further, the inspection showed there were no plans to adequately address the federal requirements, the plans had not been updated to show actual oil storage and the plans were not fully implemented as required by the federal regulations.

No oil spill occurred at any of the 30 or so oil storage and distribution facilities owned by CN Brown throughout New England, stressed Deegan.

Deegan said the company complied with the mandate as quickly as possible and has gone so far as to make a self-assessment of its other facilities. The company voluntarily disclosed 16 additional sites that are not meeting oil-pollution prevention regulations.

“They have been very quick to get up to speed with the requirements and comply,” said Deegan, who noted that the fine could have been hundreds of thousands of dollars higher had CN Brown not reacted quickly.

The local company committed to spend more than $1 million to bring its New England facilities into compliance with the Federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations, said Deegan.

Under federal law, facilities that store or distribute petroleum and nonpetroleum oils in bulk and meet certain other requirements are required by the federal Clean Water Act to implement spill prevention and control and countermeasures plans and construct spill-containment systems to help reduce the likelihood of an oil spill.

Deegan said he is not sure how old the above-ground storage tanks are, but if they were built within the past 10 years or so, they would be required to be constructed with these additional safety measures. “Doing this type of review has been a priority for this office at least for the past few years,” said Deegan of the EPA’s investigations.

Deegan said he could not recall any other enforcement action taken against the company in at least the past several years.

The family-owned and operated company has been in business since 1948. According to company information, it grew from a logging company to owning and operating Big Apple food stores and Red Shield Heating oil locations throughout New England by the end of the 1980s.


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