December 8, 2004 (ENS): The city of Bangor,
Maine has agreed to pay a $59,586 penalty and to convert
its entire fleet of vehicles to biodiesel fuel to resolve
claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
that it violated hazardous waste and clean water laws
at four of its facilities at the former Dow Air Force
Under the agreement signed Monday, the city will pay
$165,432 to convert its fleet to cleaner burning biodiesel
made partially from soy beans. The city plans to buy
about 458,000 gallons of biodiesel over the life of
the project, which will cost $165,432 more than current
diesel. The city was able to offset its penalty by that
amount in order to pursue this project.
The violations were found after Bangor failed to participate
in an environmental audit and self-disclosure initiative
offered by EPA in 2001.
The settlement resolves EPA claims that Bangor improperly
stored, handled and disposed of hazardous wastes. The
EPA claims that Bangor failed to train personnel or
have contingency plans at the city's Department of Public
Works, motor pool, aviation fuel and Bangor International
Airport facilities, in violation of federal and state
hazardous waste standards.
The agreement also resolves an EPA claim that Bangor
discharged untreated wastewater from its motor pool
into a stream that flows to the Penobscot River, in
violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Bangor did
not have a permit to discharge from the facility.
The city has come into compliance with hazardous waste
laws and has disconnected the illicit discharge from
the motor pool facility.
In addition to paying a $59,586 penalty, the city's
agreement to convert its diesel fleet to biodiesel will
reduce emissions of hydrocarbons by 21 percent, of particulates
by five to 10 percent and of carbon monoxide by 11 percent.
The project also has the added benefit of replacing
non-renewable fossil fuels with a renewable agricultural-based
fuel. The federal government's energy and environment
policy has put a priority on converting diesel fleets
The agreement may help encourage a stronger market
for the alternative fuel in central and northern Maine,
said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's
New England Office.
"The settlement also develops a framework for
future investigation and cleanup at this important site,"
The city has agreed to investigate jet fuel contamination
of groundwater at the aviation fuel farm and along a
pipeline that runs to the airport, under direction from
The city is working with Maine Department of Environmental
Protection to address potential leaks in the city's
jet fuel distribution system and to evaluate cleanup