Bristol oil company fined $200K for polluting creek

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – State regulators have fined a Bristol oil company more than $200,000 for illegally discharging into a creek.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has ordered Necessary Oil Company and property owner Realm Properties to pay a civil penalty of $197,800 and $5,332.31 in damages.

According to TDEC, the company operates a used oil facility at 1300 Georgia Avenue.

The City of Bristol alerted TDEC on January 10, 2018 to an unlawful discharge at the site. Inspectors determined that a valve had failed on an above-ground storage tank labeled “waste water,” causing a liquid chemical to spill outside of a containment area and into Cedar Creek. TDEC issued the company a Notice of Violent for unpermitted discharge.

TDEC personnel returned to the site on January 24 and noticed that a hose had been placed in the creek and was discharging liquid from the stormwater containment area.

Necessary Oil responded to the violation on January 29 with a “brief” plan to correct the issues.

According to TDEC, officials visited the site again on February 8 and observed a “noticeable, objectionable oily sheen next to the hose placed in the stream.” They also discovered a 2-inch pipe from the containment area that emptied directly into the creek.

In May, TDEC responded to notification of a spill at the site by the Sullivan County Emergency Management Agency. TDEC staff again noticed a black, oily substance discharging into the creek from a stormwater pipe that runs under the site. Inspectors determined the substance was seeping through the ground underneath the facility and into the pipe. Booms and pads were deployed in the creek to absorb the material.

Officials also observed additional spills of oily substances throughout the site, including outside of containment areas.

According to TDEC, a consultant for the company acknowledged the May discharge and outlined corrective measures that were taken in response.

In addition to the fines, the company has been ordered to apply for an appropriate permit, submit a corrective action plan and engineering report for repairs to tanks and the containment area, and remove any hoses from Cedar Creek until it receives the appropriate permit.

You can view the full TDEC report below.

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