BP Alaska to pay $125K fines over hazardous waste violations

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska BP Alaska agreed to pay a little more than $125,000 in fines over hazardous waste violations on Alaska’s North Slope, officials said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it reached the agreement with the Alaska arm of oil company BP Plc last week, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday.

BP failed to properly label hazardous materials in two buildings at Prudhoe Bay. BP also did not have adequate insurance to cover possible injuries or property damage from storing and handling hazardous waste, the federal agency said.

“They’re required to have significant insurance or at least financial resources on hand to handle any claims, and we discovered during an inspection that, for several years, they had not,” said Bill Dunbar, a spokesman for the EPA Region 10 Office in Seattle.

BP Alaska neither admitted to nor denied the claims in the consent agreement reached with the government.

The company worked with the EPA to resolve concerns over the insurance for the Prudhoe Bay operations, BP Alaska spokeswoman Megan Baldino said in a statement.

The company is now in compliance with the federal requirements following the violations stemming from an inspection of BP’s Prudhoe Bay facility in the summer of 2018, Dunbar said.

The environmental agency discovered seven waste aerosol cans in a flammable storage locker at a seawater treatment plant that were not labeled or marked as hazardous waste. The agency also found a can that stored waste solvent rags and was not properly labeled at a production center, the EPA said.

BP Alaska failed to maintain adequate liability coverage for five years beginning in 2014, which is a violation of the company’s federal hazardous waste permit, the EPA said.