JOHNSON – Bourne’s Energy was recently fined $4,500 in connection with two separate incidents involving the delivery of heating fuel to residences in Waterbury and Johnson.
In an incident going back to December 2017, Bourne’s Energy released approximately 160 gallons of fuel oil when attempting a routine delivery to a multi-family residence in Johnson.
The company mistakenly delivered the fuel to a neighboring building that did not have a connected fuel tank, causing a release of fuel oil directly into the building’s unfinished basement.
Bourne’s Energy worked quickly with an environmental contractor to remove over nine tons of contaminated material from the building’s basement.
In 2017, Vermont adopted new aboveground storage tank rules to help prevent fuel leaks and keep Vermont’s residents and the environment safe.
The rules specify standards for new installations and require periodic inspections of existing systems.
Tanks that have missing or non-functional safety features, are unstable, or are in generally poor condition are affixed with red tags that indicate they may not be filled until the tank is brought back into compliance.
In February 2019, Bourne’s Energy delivered 100 gallons of fuel to a Waterbury residence with a red tag affixed to the tank’s fill pipe.
The tank was in generally poor condition and previously determined to be out of compliance due to corrosion, pitting, and rust.
Although the delivery did not result in any discharges of fuel oil to the environment, filling non-compliant tanks is unlawful because it is dangerous for delivery personnel and tank owners due to the risk of overfilling the tank, leaks, or accidental spills.
Bourne’s, Inc. agreed to a $4,500 penalty for the two violations.