Enforcement

Monongahela Power Company (dba Allegheny Power Company) Oil Spills Settlement

On November 13, 2001, the U.S. Government settled a federal lawsuit against Monongahela Power Company (doing business as Allegheny Power) for Clean Water Act violations related to a 19,000-gallon oil spill after a 1998 explosion at the company's Belmont substation in Williw Island, Pleasants County, West Virginia. The Justice Department filed settlement papers in federal count requiring Allegheny Power to pay a $252,000 penalty and compy with safeguards to prevent future oil spills.

The Belmont substation included three large transformers, each holding about 27,000 gallons of dielectric mineral oil, and several smaller transformers and circuit breakers also containing dielectric mineral oil. On April 11, 1998, one of the three large transformers exploded, resulting in the oil spill, which reached two nearby tributaries of Cow Creek.

Allegheny Power spent approximately $450,000 to contain and clean up the spill. The company's efforts prevented the oil from reaching the Ohio River and nearby wetlands. Allegheny also spent approximately $6.9 million to replace all three large transformers, including $4.6 million to replace the two undamaged transformers.

On Jan.18, 2001, a complaint was filed against Allegheny Power citing Clean Water Act violations prohibiting oil spills into U.S. waters. The complaint also alleged that the company violated spill prevention, control and countermeasure ( SPCC) requirements by not submitting their SPCC plan on time. SPCC plans are required to help prevent or contain oil spills and keep oil from polluting streams, rivers and other water bodies.

As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.