3 subsidiary companies will pay a combined civil penalty of $135,000
Three subsidiary companies of Darling Ingredients Inc., a publicly traded corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas, have agreed to settle allegations of Clean Water Act violations at four different oil storage facilities located in Muscatine and Sioux City, Iowa, and Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas. Each of these facilities store a combination of petroleum fuel oils, vegetable oils or animal fats produced from animal rendering.
Through three separate settlements with EPA Region 7, naming Darling Ingredients Inc., Darling Ingredients L.L.C. and Darling National L.L.C. (both doing business as Dar Pro), and Griffin Industries L.L.C. as respondents, the companies will pay a combined civil penalty of $135,000 to the United States. EPA identified the violations during site visits and inspections of each facility in 2013.
The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires facilities that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil (which includes animal fats and vegetable oils) to have and properly implement a spill prevention, control and countermeasures plan (SPCC) designed to prevent oil spills from leaving those facilities. In 2013, EPA inspected the Sioux City, Wichita and Kansas City facilities and found these facilities violated SPCC program requirements by failing to properly identify and account for all oil storage capacity, and properly plan for the containment of possible spills.
The CWA also requires facilities that store more than 1 million gallons of oil to develop a Facility Response Plan (FRP), which outlines procedures for addressing “worst-case” discharges of oil. By being prepared and by conducting required response drills, facilities are better situated to prevent environmental harm from such releases.
“The Clean Water Act requires small oil storage facilities to have plans to prevent a spill from leaving their property, and for large oil storage facilities to have adequate response plans to prevent a spill from becoming a much larger environmental problem,” said Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague. “In the case of an oil spill, the lack of proper spill prevention and response preparation can have serious consequences for nearby residents and the environment. This settlement helps protect the environment and the communities near these facilities from that risk.”
At the time of EPA’s site visits, the Muscatine and Sioux City facilities produced and stored more than 1 million gallons of oil. The Muscatine facility has now ceased the storage of oil, and the Sioux City facility has reduced its oil storage capacity to less than 1 million gallons.
The settlement agreement with Griffin Industries L.L.C. for the Muscatine facility requires a penalty payment of $12,500 and resolves the company’s previous failure to properly determine whether a FRP was required for that facility.
The settlement agreement with Darling Ingredients L.L.C. and Darling National L.L.C. resolves the SPCC violations alleged at the Wichita and Kansas City facilities and requires a penalty payment of $23,500.
Lastly, a proposed settlement with Darling Ingredients Inc., resolves both alleged SPCC and FRP violations at the Sioux City facility and requires a penalty payment of $99,000. This settlement is subject to a 40-day public comment period.
By each of these settlements, each company attests they are now in compliance with the CWA.