DEM issues violation notice to petroleum distributor on PVD waterfront due to odor

PROVIDENCE – Sprague Operating Resources LLC has received a notice of violation from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management for odors from the petroleum distributor’s Providence waterfront location, the department announced Friday.

The facility is located on Allens Avenue.

DEM said the notice of violation was for alleged environmental violations related to Rhode Island’s Code of Regulations titled Odors, which prohibits air contaminants that create an objectionable odor beyond an owner’s property line. DEM identified three tanks formerly used to store petroleum but that now contain liquid asphalt and a liquid-asphalt product known as roofing flux.

The violation carries a $22,500 penalty. DEM said under the terms of the NOV, the company will not be able to receive products to two of the tanks, effective immediately, unless equipment is installed or an interim fix is approved by the department.

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DEM said it had been in contact with the company to deal with the tanks in December. The company presented a plan to mitigate the smell, but DEM said the company has not applied for a permit to install the control equipment or taken any other measures to mitigate the odor.

The company is also required to submit a report about the third tank, which contains the roofing flux, as well as a plan to install equipment to control odors from the tank, if necessary. The company was given 30 days to submit a report to DEM for review and approval.

DEM noted it had repeatedly received complaints about the odor from the site following the conversion of two of the tanks to hold liquid asphalt in 2017.

The company has the right to appeal the notice of violation, which would stay the order, according to DEM spokesman Mike Healey. The appeal would initially go to administrative adjudication at DEM but has the potential to move to the court system if further appealed.

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