The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) filed a complaint and injunction (“Complaint”) in the Circuit Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas (“Court”) on October 17 against the following parties: ) was submitted. :
- Fort Smith Petro Environmental, LLC
- Florida Oil Investment Group, LLC
- Sanon Holdings LLP
- Ashish Sanon and Ritu Sanon (in personal and official capacity)
(collectively “Fort Smith Petro”)
Fort Smith Petro was previously described by DEQ in an Emergency Order (“EO”) as operating a spent oil processing facility (“Facility”) at Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Previous blog post here.)
EO said the facility has nine above-ground storage tanks and one laydown recovery tank. Additionally, it said the facility has secondary containment structures for above-ground storage tanks and laydown recovery tanks. A frac tank with a separate containment area was stated to have been located adjacent to the ground storage tank and the laydown recovery tank.
The complaint alleges that Fort Smith Petro was issued a National Pollutant Discharge Removal System (“NPDES”) Industrial Stormwater General Permit in 2014. On March 10, 2020, the facility and the Fort Smith City Fire Department responded and contained the release.
The aforementioned EO is said to have ordered Fort Smith Petro to provide DEQ with names and contact information. Discharged. The EO also states that additional action is needed.
Defendant Fort Smith Petro and the individual referred to are said to have taken some action in response to the EO.
A potential sale of the facility is mentioned in the complaint, which is said to have not been completed. Additionally, the complaint alleges that certain containment areas have not been properly remediated and continue to spill waste oil and other identified contaminants.
The complaint alleges violations or damages of:
- Violation of the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act
- Violation of the Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Act
- Violation of Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Rule 6
- Violation of Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Rule 23
- Violation of State Laws and Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Rules
- cause irreparable harm to the environment and endanger human health
The complaint requests that the Circuit Court grant the following relief:
- Temporary injunction ordering the defendant to immediately rehabilitate the area to ensure that further continued environmental destruction is halted.
- A permanent injunction ordering the removal of all waste oil and other contaminants from the facility
- Defendants evaluate civil penalties for each day they operate in violation of state law and Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission rules
- DEQ Costs and Attorney’s Fees Award
A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here.