EPA files complaints against oil firm, landlord

A southern New Hampshire oil company may face up to $157,500 in penalties and a Queen City landlord may face up to $92,800 in fines by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in two separate complaints lodged by the agency’s New England office.

Draper Energy Co. Inc., which operates oil storage facilities in Wilton and Milford, was cited by the EPA for allegedly failing to prepare for oil spills as required by the Clean Water Act.

The company faces a maximum penalty of $157,500 as well as fines of up to $32,500 per day for allegedly failing to complete certain chemical reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

According to EPA’s complaint, Draper did not prepare or implement a “Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure” plan at its Wilton facility and failed to adequately implement such a plan at its Milford plant.

The agency said the firm did not construct a “sufficiently impervious secondary containment” around the oil storage units at the Wilton location as well as failing to keep inspection and staff training records.

Alleged violations at Draper’s Milford location include failing to correct visible oil leaks and also did not maintain records.

The EPA’s complaint said that the two facilities have a combined storage capacity of 280,000 gallons, and the Milford facility is located within the town’s drinking water supply.

Draper also did not file emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms with the local and state emergency planning authorities, as required by law for facilities that store greater than 10,000 gallons of oil or gasoline.

Since the EPA’s inspection and notification of alleged violations, Draper Energy is working to bring its facilities into compliance with regulations, the agency said.

In a separate case, Juliet Ermitano allegedly did not disclose information about the hazards of lead paint to tenants who rented apartments from her between September 2004 and July 2006, according to the EPA complaint.

According to the agency, Ermitano did not inform tenants of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, furnish tenants with copies of records and reports regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards or provide tenants with EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlets, as required by federal lead-based paint disclosure laws.

The violations could carry a penalty of up to $92,800.

During the 2004-2006 time frame, according to EPA, Ermitano owned 32 rental units in five Manchester apartment buildings. The complaint states that between 5 and 10 percent of the units had children aged 18 years and younger — the age group most susceptible to lead exposure, which can cause learning and hearing disabilities and behavioral problems.

The EPA’s said the properties in question were built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, an era when leaded paint was commonly used. — CINDY KIBBE

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