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Thursday, April 24, 2014

EPA, former owner of Shell Marianas end consent decree

The U.S. government, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the former owner of Shell Marianas now want to terminate the consent decree that resolved EPA’s lawsuit against the company for violations of the Clean Air Act at a bulk gasoline terminal on Saipan.

EPA now agrees that Marianas Acquisition Corp. has met the requirements to have the consent decree terminated.

U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Section trial attorney Andrew W. Ingersoll, assistant U.S. attorneys Mikel W. Schwab and Jessica F. Cruz, and IP&E Saipan legal counsel Paul O. Dicharry on behalf of MAC, submitted in federal court on Thursday a joint stipulation and motion to terminate the consent decree.

The parties said that pursuant to a provision of the consent decree, MAC completed its vapor collection system installation project and submitted performance tests to EPA.

MAC also submitted semi-annual reports to EPA pursuant to the consent decree.

MAC also agrees to pay $826,000 in civil penalties for past violations and install emissions control equipment worth $2.3 million.

Ingersoll stated that the settlement reduces emissions of volatile organic compounds, including the known human carcinogen benzene, from MAC’s bulk gasoline storage facility in Puerto Rico.

Senior District Judge Alex R. Munson accepted the consent decree.

In March 2011, EPA announced the settlement of the case. According to the complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement, MAC, previously doing business as Shell Marianas, failed for more than two decades to install vapor pollution controls and comply with a pollution limit at its bulk gasoline terminal loading area in Puerto Rico.

Failure to limit its emissions led to the illegal discharge of about 5 tons of volatile organic compounds into the air each year, EPA said.

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