DEC: Fuel delivery business fined $9K for tank inspection violations

Montpelier, VT (October 7, 2022) – The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that Fred’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., a fuel oil delivery business based in Derby, was fined $9,000 for violations of the Vermont Aboveground Storage Tank Rules.

Vermont’s Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Rules protect human health and the environment by establishing standards for the design, installation, and inspection of all AST systems. For example, they require that AST systems be inspected immediately after the initial delivery of fuel to the AST system. Inspectors are also required to affix a red tag to any AST system that does not comply with the inspection standards to prevent future fuel oil deliveries to non-compliant tanks. Both requirements minimize the potential of spills from faulty AST systems. Vermont law prohibits the spilling of hazardous materials like fuel oil to the environment.

In May 2021, the company did not inspect an AST system after completing its initial delivery of fuel oil to a residence in Morristown. Over the next few days, more than 100 gallons of fuel oil was released to a basement floor drain through a pinhole leak in the system. Remediation activities following the spill resulted in the removal of approximately 48 tons of petroleum-contaminated soils and other materials. In a separate incident in 2020, while inspecting an AST system in Waterbury, the company failed to affix a red tag to an AST system that did not meet the inspection standards in the AST Rules. Fuel deliveries continued.

“Reducing the number of spills of hazardous materials lowers the threat and impact of petroleum products on human health and the environment,” says DEC Commissioner John Beling. “Properly inspecting AST systems is critically important to reducing the number of spills because inspections can identify problems before the release happens.”

Fred’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., agreed to a fine of $9,000 for the violations. This agreement was incorporated into a Final Order of the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division, on October 3, 2022.

Visit https://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/storage-tanks/aboveground for more information about inspection requirements for AST systems. For information about spills of hazardous materials, visit https://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/spills.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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3 thoughts on “DEC: Fuel delivery business fined $9K for tank inspection violations

  1. This is an idiot rule. It came about after Irene, and has nothing to do with solving a constant problem. Its like all the other environmental rules that were dropped after Irene to rebuild roads and bridges. Nothing bad happened to the environment, thus proving most of the rules are over-kill and not needed.

    In this case we are telling untrained people to sign off on oil tanks, and if people can’t heat their homes because of what is found, then tough for the home owner. they don’t require an ultra-sonic test of the tank integrity with the rule which is the only way to actually know if the tank will leak. And buried in cement rules are nonsense too. Yes there is a problem, but the composition of cement 60 years ago is different from what has been available for the past 30, and poses little danger.

  2. These kind of rules are seriously impacting property owners and are YET ANOTHER jab at affordability of living in VT. The tank inspection rules were slipped in under the radar screen and amount to an “inspection sticker” on one’s home just like the one regulation-besieged Vermonters have to comply with on vehicles. We have bigger fishes to fry.

  3. In the grand scheme of things, this is rather small. Could have been an innocent oversight by a new person or a person w a lot on their mind or tired. A lot of people are very busy today and working long hours due to the short staffing issues.
    Seems as though a written warning could have done the job.

    Looks more like this fuel company was the victim of a shake down..

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