Processing Magazine

Chevron to Pay $900,000 Fine Levied by Maine DEP

July 18, 2011

According to the Associated Press, Chevron Corp. will pay a $900,000 fine to the state of Maine to settle claims that an estimated 140,000 gallons of oil leaked from an oil tank farm it owned into the Penobscot River decades ago. The penalty is the largest fine imposed by state regulators in 20 years, but Chevron accepted no responsibility or wrongdoing under a consent decree. Officials say 2,800 tons of oil-contaminated sediment and 10,000 gallons of oil have been removed since 2008 as part of an ongoing site cleanup. The agreement focuses on the tank farm and two marine terminals that were owned by Chevron and Texaco. Chevron, one of the world''s largest oil companies, now owns Texaco. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. Chevron said it operated its tank farm and marine terminal in Hampden between the 1950s and 1986, when Cumberland Farms Inc. purchased the Gulf Oil brand assets for the Northeast, which included the terminal and tank farm. Cumberland Farms has not been linked to the contamination. The tank farm and oil terminal closed in 1996, according to a Cumberland Farms spokeswoman. State officials said more than 140,000 gallons of oil were spilled at the Chevron and Texaco sites for decades into the 1980s, and that the oil then discharged and continues to discharge at a slow rate into the river. Under the agreement, $380,000 of the settlement will go into Maine''s oil spill cleanup fund to help pay for spill cleanups around the state. The remaining $520,000 is slated to go toward a riverside public park and boat launch in Hampden. Besides the fine, Chevron is leading and paying for the cleanup effort being overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection.