Alaska fuel company fined $1.3 million by EPA for hazardous air, violating national emissions standards

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 12:11 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Crowley Fuels of Alaska has agreed to pay a little over $1.3 million in penalties after the Environmental Protection Agency said the company violated national environmental standards and failed to report years of data for several locations in Alaska.

In a release, the EPA said Crowley’s gasoline storage facilities in Juneau, Ketchikan, Douglas and Palmer were among the communities where Crowley had violated federal law.

At Crowley’s facility in Juneau, the EPA said Crowley “failed to install vapor emissions controls on the gasoline storage tanks.” This action both violated the Clean Air Act and resulted in an estimated 110,000 pounds of gasoline vapors escaping into the environment, the EPA said in a release.

The EPA said the company was in violation of new source performance standards and national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants in Juneau for not having the air pollution controls, as those would have captured “vapors released from gasoline storage tanks.”

“Communities where facilities like this exist should expect the company is obeying all laws meant to protect them from dangerous chemicals,” Chris Hladick, EPA’s regional administrator in Seattle, said in a prepared statement. “We’re pleased the company came to the table immediately upon being informed of the violations and committed to correcting them.”

Crowley is also being dinged for failing to report information about chemical releases to state and federal agencies from 2013 to 2018 at its facilities in Ketchikan and Juneau. EPA says that information is used in the national toxic release inventory to inform the public, as well as community and government partners.

As of Sept. 16, EPA has ordered Crowley to install the missing air pollution control equipment in Juneau by July 2021. Crowley also has the option of converting their Juneau facility into diesel-only service by that date. In a release, EPA said Crowley has since submitted overdue reports for the toxic release inventory.

A spokesperson for Crowley said the company misinterpreted some federal regulations.

“Crowley Fuels is committed to operating safely and protecting the environment in every community we serve,” Corporate Communications Director David DeCamp said. “While the EPA action results from our misinterpretation of certain regulations, we have taken action to remedy those issues and continue operating in an environmentally safe manner. As the EPA stated, we immediately took corrective actions and resolved all outstanding issues.”

According to Crowley’s website, the company has 76 million gallons of fuel storage throughout the state and has operations in over 280 Alaskan communities.

The company bio said it places an emphasis on “service, reliability and safety” while transporting, selling, storing and delivering fuel products like diesel, heating fuel, propane, gasoline and more.

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