East Hawaii News

EPA: Aloha Petroleum Fined $650K for Violations

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Aloha Petroleum Ltd. and the United States Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement to resolve the company’s violations against the Clean Air Act, as well as the Clean Water Act.

The violations occurred at Aloha Petroleum’s Hilo East bulk fuel storage terminal.

According to the EPA, the company did not install vapor controls that complied with emission limits on its gasoline loading rack, and failed to have the correct secondary spill containment for oil storage tanks.

Operations at the Hilo East facility were recently shut down by the company, and a reopening cannot occur until volatile organic compound vapor controls are installed and oil spill containment is improved. The EPA estimates that these improvements will cost the company a minimum of $900,000.


Aloha Petroleum will install spill containment at its other four fuel storage facilities throughout the state, with a total estimated cost of all construction at $3.25 million. The construction at the Kahalui Terminal (Maui), Nawiliwili Terminal (Kauai), Barbers Point Terminal (Oahu), and Honolulu Terminal (Honolulu) will include impermeable dikes, berms, and basins that would contain oil in case of a spill from its tanks.

In addition, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $650,000, of which $117,000 will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

“This enforcement action ensures that harmful gasoline vapors will be controlled at the Hilo East Terminal,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “And Aloha Petroleum will be upgrading its oil containment basins, which are made of coral rock and too porous to prevent spilled fuel from leaking into the environment.”


The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts provide guidelines to ensure environmental health.

Under the Clean Air Act, vapor controls are required on loading racks to limit VOC emissions during tank truck loading. These vapors include hazardous air pollutants and VOC’s, which are an ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone or smog and can cause respiratory impacts and aggravate respiratory conditions, like asthma.

The Clean Water Act regulations require onshore oil and fuel storage facilities to have spill prevention, control, and countermeasures that include proper secondary containment to prevent oil and fuel from being discharged into wetlands, streams, and the ocean.


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