The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) assessed a $10,062 penalty to South Middlesex (SMOC) Non-Profit Housing Corp., a non-profit corporation based in Framingham, for failing to notify MassDEP of a release of fuel oil to the dirt floor basement of one of its properties, thus to the environment, within the required two-hour time frame, and for failing to conduct cleanup actions in a timely manner after obtaining knowledge of the release.
On Feb. 23, 2012, SMOC Housing notified MassDEP that fuel oil leaked from an above-ground storage tank to soils in the basement of the shelter at 57 Mechanic St. in Marlborough.
The oily soils were noted by maintenance staff as early as Feb. 17, 2012, but went unabated until employees complained of odors.
Under the terms of the order, the corporation will revise its spill management plan to prevent future incidents of this nature, certify that all appropriate employees are trained, certify that fuel tanks at all corporation properties are inspected, and that appropriate upgrades are taken to prevent future releases. The corporation also agreed to pay $5,600 of the assessed penalty, while the remainder was suspended provided that there are no additional violations for a period of one year.
“It is crucial for any business to ensure that appropriate employees are trained to respond in a timely manner to emergency spills,” said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. “Prompt action minimizes the risk of impacts to people and the environment, and reduces costs.”
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.