News | August 8, 2018

U.S. EPA Requires Vital Energy, Inc. To Protect Guam's Waterways From Oil Spills

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement with Vital Energy, Inc. (Vital) to resolve Clean Water Act violations at the Guam Power Authority Piti Bulk Fuel Terminal in Piti, Guam. Vital will pay a $86,875 penalty as part of the agreement.

“To safeguard Guam’s waters from pollution, federal regulations require oil and fuel to be stored appropriately in regularly inspected tanks,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “This agreement will help protect Guam’s marine ecosystem from oil pollution."

EPA inspected the facility and found that Vital had failed to perform required inspections to the inside and outside of its aboveground oil and fuel tanks. Vital also improperly stored diesel fuel in a converted aluminum tank, which had inadequate venting. Aluminum is not suitable for storage of fuel due to its low melting point. The tank also had steel fuel piping which had corroded and was leaking.

Vital also had an inadequate Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, a federal requirement for facilities that pose potential risks to waterways and nearby environments.

Vital, which stores and distributes fuel in the Pacific Islands, operated the facility which is owned by the Guam Power Authority and includes two aboveground oil storage tanks with a capacity of 22.5 million gallons. Vital leased the facility from Guam Power Authority from May 1, 2012 to September 30, 2017. Any spills from the facility would flow into the Piti Channel, which leads to Apra Harbor, the Philippine Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

EPA's proposed settlement with Vital, which is subject to a 30-day comment period, can be found at:

https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/vital-energy-inc-tamuning-guam-proposed-settlement-clean-water-act-class-ii
https://www.epa.gov/az/vital-energy-inc-tamuning-guam-consent-agreement-and-proposed-final-order

For more information on the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure and the Facility Response Plan rules, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region.

SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)