JOINT PRESS RELEASE
DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
March 14, 2002
Vol. 32, No.56
For further information contact Lori Sitler, Department of Justice, (302) 577-8314 or pager (302) 247-1132 or Maria Taylor, DNREC Office of Information and Education, (302) 739-4506.
Department of Justice and DNREC Resolve Charges
Against Motiva for Caustic Spills in 2001
Motiva Enters into Plea Agreement
DNREC Issues Notice of Penalty Assessment and Secretary's Order
Motiva Enterprises, LLC has entered into a Plea Agreement to resolve criminal charges for releases of pollutants at the Delaware City refinery on February 27, 2001 and March 28, 2001 in violation of Delaware's laws governing hazardous waste and the discharge of pollutants into surface or ground water.
The Plea Agreement requires Motiva to pay a fine of $10,000--$5000 of which will be suspended if all the obligations in the DNREC Secretary's Order, summarized below, are fulfilled.
The Plea Agreement is unrelated to the continuing investigation surrounding the July 17, 2001 fire and explosion at the refinery. That investigation is ongoing.
An Administrative Secretary's Order from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, incorporated into the Plea Agreement, requires Motiva to:
· Provide the State with $50,200 toward the development of the environmental release notification system that supports the requirements of Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Senator David B. McBride and signed into law by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2001.
· Make specified improvements to its Computerized Maintenance Management System by June 30, 2002.
· Conduct mandatory attendance sessions to train its operations and maintenance supervisors in the requirements for timely and accurate reporting of releases.
· Prepare for the Department's review a written assessment of its monitoring system for all regulated storm water discharge points by June 30, 2002.
· Provide for continuous accurate readings by re-engineering and installing pH controls on its neutralization tanks by April 30, 2003.
· Remove all hoses connecting the neutralization tanks to the settling ponds by April 30, 2003 and install permanent direct piping to the oily water sewer.
According to DNREC Secretary Nicholas A. DiPasquale, "These instances of Motiva's criminal negligence were just more examples of Motiva failing to take prompt and appropriate action when equipment, known to be in disrepair, has potential for harmful environmental releases. The requirements of this Order are designed to prevent further instances of such negligence."