PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $20,964 settlement with George Mason University, resolving allegations related to fuel oil discharge at a storage facility in Fairfax, Virginia.
The university purportedly violated the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on oil discharges to water bodies and the Act’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan regulations. SPCC requirements exist to protect local waterways by preventing oil spills from reaching them.
George Mason’s storage facility is roughly a half-mile from a Rabbit Run tributary. This waterway flows through several tributaries and then into the Potomac River. EPA alleged the facility released 4,100 gallons of fuel oil from tanks Jan. 17, 2015. Approximately 3,500 gallons went into a storm drain and made its way into the tributary.
George Mason responded immediately and stopped additional downstream flow. The university has since come into compliance with federal spill prevention requirements to protect waterways.
The penalty money will go toward the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is used to fund oil cleanups.