EPA proposes as much as $700K in fines for Pan Am Railways

Pan Am Railways is facing up to $748,000 in fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for alleged Clean Air Act and SPCC violations. 

The EPA filed administrative complaints against Pan Am Railways during the first quarter of 2015, regarding two of the company's rail yards, one in Waterville, Maine, and another in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The EPA alleged that the facilities violated the Clean Water Act by failing to comply with state-issued stormwater permits and discharging pollutants into area rivers. The two rail yards also did not maintain and implement a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC) to mitigate potential oil spills. 

In addition to these, the Deerfield facility is also facing further penalties. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced earlier this month that it had fined the Billerica, Mass., rail company nearly $12,000 for failing to notify that state agency of a fuel spill that took place in July of 2014. About 20 gallons of engine oil leaked from a locomotive engine. The DEP requires companies to notify authorities of a spill within two hours of the incident. The EPA will be following up with their own fines, due to the lack of an SPCC plan in place.

This brings Pan Am Railways' total violations to 4 for this year. The EPA can penalize the company up to $16,000 per violation, per day, for as long as the violations continued, to a maximum of $187,500 per count. This means that, collectively, Pan Am could be facing up to $748,000 in administrative penalties.

If you need an SPCC plan for your facility, environmental consultants can help. It is important not to delay SPCC compliance.