BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Goguen Transportation, Inc. of Gardner, Mass., resolving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act associated with two tanker truck accidents in Revere and Athol, Mass. that resulted in oil discharges to local waters.
“EPA takes our role of protecting public health and our environmental resources very seriously, with a special emphasis on communities that have been historically burdened with high levels of pollution,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Carefully following safety measures to prevent oil spills from occurring is Job One for companies that handle, store and transport oil, and Goguen Transportation failed to take the necessary care.”
On two separate occasions, fuel oil was spilled from tanker trucks owned and operated by Goguen Transportation, polluting local waters and violating the Clean Water Act. On October 13, 2021, a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over while navigating a traffic circle in Revere, releasing between 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of fuel oil into areas including Rumney Marsh, Diamond Creek and the Pines River. A second incident occurred on December 22, 2021, when a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over at an intersection in Athol, releasing approximately 4,500 gallons of fuel oil into waters including Mill Brook and Millers River. On both occasions, the released fuel oil created a sheen and accumulated on the shoreline of impacted waters.
The Revere spill occurred in an area (Brown Circle Rotary) where residents have been historically overburdened with environmental concerns, including proximity to traffic and industrial facilities. Rumney Marsh encompasses approximately 2,274 acres and is an important coastal estuary that is home to a variety of wildlife. EPA’s coordination with Commonwealth of Massachusetts officials showed that waterfowl were also negatively affected by the Revere spill, and the spill delayed the opening of the clam flat. Rumney Marsh is a 600-acre salt marsh located within the Saugus and Pines River Inlet. The Marsh is designated as an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” under the Commonwealth and supports numerous activities to the public including canoeing and kayaking, fishing and clam harvesting, hiking and bird watching.
The company will pay a $35,354 penalty. EPA estimates that the company has spent over $570,000 to clean up the Revere spill, and that remediation for the Athol spill will be no less than $300,000 based on the distance oil traveled and amount of oil spilled.