Fuel oil delivery business fined for spill in Benson

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MONTPELIER — Champlain Valley Fuels was fined $9,000 for releasing fuel oil at the Benson Village School in Benson, and not immediately reporting the spill to DEC.

In January 2021, Champlain Valley Fuels released between 10 and 30 gallons of fuel oil during delivery to the Benson Village School when it miscalculated the capacity and overfilled the school’s 3,000-gallon underground storage tank.

The company conducted a partial cleanup and reported the spill to school administrators that day, but the company did not report the spill to DEC.

After school administrators notified DEC of the spill in March 2021, additional cleanup was undertaken to remove over 30 tons of petroleum-contaminated soils from the site.

The extent of the contamination is still being determined.

Vermont law prohibits the release of hazardous materials like fuel oil to the environment and requires that spills be reported immediately to DEC for tracking, assessment, and cleanup oversight.

“Timely reporting of spills of hazardous materials is critical to determine whether a spill is threatening sensitive environmental areas such as surface waters or drinking water wells, or if it has the potential to harm human health,” said Interim DEC Commissioner John Beling. “The DEC Spill Program works with all parties to ensure proper remediation of the site and safe disposal of contaminated soils and other materials.”

Champlain Valley Fuels agreed to a fine of $9,000 for the violations.

The company also agreed to investigate the maximum extent of contamination and complete any additional work needed to remediate the site.

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