EPA fines Road and Bridge

Brandon Johnson

The Moffat County Road and Bridge Department’s plan for controlling fuel spills doesn’t meet federal standards.

According to an Environmental Protection Agency inspection in September, the department’s spill prevention control and countermeasures plan is inadequate at the fuel storage facility in Craig.

“There were some deficiencies in the plan that we had,” Road and Bridge director Bill Mack said at Tuesday’s Moffat County commissioners meeting.

The EPA leveled a $1,200 fine against the department earlier this month.

Mack said the company contracted to create the prevention plan has agreed to pay the fine for the department.

EPA environmental scientist Donna Inman said the facility had inadequate measures in place to catch fuel when it spills. The facility also had inadequate basins to catch storm water runoff.

Inman served as an enforcement officer for the investigation.

“The violations we found (in Moffat County) we find in a lot of places,” Inman said.

The inspection was part of numerous inspections the EPA did in Northwest Colorado last fall.

“This was not the only facility to get an infraction,” Inman said.

Inman said the EPA pays special attention to sites that store a lot of fuel, such as road department facilities and gas stations with aboveground storage tanks.

This was the first EPA inspection of the facility in Mack’s 19 years with the department.

Inman said the infraction does not mean Moffat County will be inspected more often.

“There aren’t enough of us,” Inman said.

Mack said he expects the EPA to come out to do a follow-up examination, but Inman said that probably won’t happen. The EPA will rely on invoices and pictures to see that the department complies with regulations.

The Moffat County commissioners signed an extension request for Road and Bridge at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting. The extension would give Road and Bridge until Aug. 1 to complete the upgrades, instead of July 1.

Commissioner Darryl Steele said the infractions didn’t seem like a big deal because there wasn’t any oil spilled, just problems with the plan to catch spilled oil.

“As a commissioner,” he said, “I’m not mad at Road and Bridge because of this.”

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