Yarmouth power plant, Freeport junkyard hit with environmental fines
YARMOUTH — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection levied fines totalling more than $48,000 against the Wyman Power Station and a Freeport junkyard.
Wyman, the oil-fired power plant at 667 Cousins St. on Cousins Island, was penalized more than $25,800 for air pollution violations.
In Freeport, the DAB junkyard at 13 Allen Range Road was fined nearly $23,000 for improper handling of hazardous waste.
Wyman exceeded the DEP-licensed limit on nitrogen oxides emissions for 17 operating days from Feb. 3, 2012, to July 7, 2012, according to a DEP report. The fine also applied retroactively to illegal emission levels recorded between 2006 and 2010.
Wyman was not fined in previous years for the earlier emissions because they those emissions alone were too small to trigger enforcement, Peter Carney, DEP enforcement director, said. When enforcement is triggered, DEP will consider previous, smaller violations, he said.
Short-term exposure to nitrogen oxides can lead to respiratory ailments and enhance respiratory allergic reactions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The plant is operated by Delaware-based FPL Energy Wyman LLC and FPL Engergy Wyman IV LLC. NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a subsidiary of Florida-based FPL Group, owns a majority share; 11 other utility companies account for the rest.
Wyman is NextEra's only oil-fired plant in the nation. The company owns dozens of other power-generating facilities across the country including nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams and wind and solar farms.
A NextEra spokesman did not return a call for comment as of Friday afternoon.
DEP staff inspected the DAB property in Freeport on June 7, 2012, and June 12, 2012, and found spilled or leaked oil on the ground that exceeded the recommended clean-up levels, according the DEP report. The yard also failed to make an effort to remove the oil from the contaminated soil.
The oil was eventually removed on Sept. 26, 2012.
"It's all been taken care of for a while now," DAB owner David Bolduc said Friday. "I paid it, whatever. I'm a big boy. I screwed up, took care of it, moved on."
Other DAB violations included:
• Failure to label or mark 21, 55-gallon containers of gasoline or obtain an EPA identification number.
• Failure to conduct daily inspections of all hazardous waste containers stored at the business.
• At the time of inspection, DAB had been accumulating waste for about six years without a license. A violation occurs after 90 days.
• Storing some of the hazardous waste gasoline in containers that were rusty and dented.
• Four of the gasoline containers were on top of bare ground. They are required to be stored on impervious surfaces.
• Failure to have extra containment for the 21 drums.
• Failure to label universal waste mercury switches and store them in closed containers.
The fine will be paid in monthly payments, according the DEP report.
The Wyman and DAB fines were the result of November enforcement actions, which are typically announced by DEP the month after they've occurred.
DAB is the second Freeport junkyard to be fined in consecutive months. In October, Freeport Auto Parts, also on Allen Road, was fined nearly $18,000 for similar violations.
The two businesses are not affiliated.