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Butler oil company to pay big fines for violations

Benz Oil of Butler violations of state hazardous waste laws date back to 1991

Nov. 27, 2012

Benz Oil Inc. in Butler will be paying $140,000 in fines after the attorney general J.B. Van Hollen found the company in violation of Wisconsin hazardous waste laws.

The order came on Nov. 15 but some of the state's 11 claims against the company go as far back as 1991.

Benz Oil has since revised its facility activities and has now been found to be in compliance with Wisconsin's Hazardous Waste Management and Remedial Action Laws.

Half of the complaints came from poor record keeping. They failed to report to the DNR with spill prevention control and countermeasures (federal SPCC guidelines), failed to develop sampling methods and follow a written analysis plan for measuring total halogen content and failed to keep required records detailing used oil generator or transporter information.

According to the judgment, the oil recycling facility also failed to keep an evacuation plan for their employees, with primary and alternative routes, or maintain a list of emergency equipment on hand until April 2011.

They only began working with emergency responders and local authorities for emergency planning in Feb. 2011.

Benz Oil was also found using gravel on top of clay in the base of the oil tank farm instead of concrete.

State law requires that all walls and floors in oil containment systems be impervious to best prevent used oil, toxic chemicals and heavy metals from being released into the soil or groundwater.

During site investigations the DNR staff observed oil tanks in poor condition, oil staining around the pump house, puddle liquid beneath tanks and a consultant positively identified contaminated areas in 1997.

Used oil can contain cancer-causing agents, metal contaminants and organic compounds that filter into the groundwater supply which could pose serious health risks to the nearby community.

While Benz Oil has now been found to be in compliance with state and federal standards, they still have to pay a hefty fine.

They have been ordered to pay $100,218.98 in forfeitures and $26,056.93 or 26 percent in penalty surcharges.

The remainder of the $140,000 will be paid for environmental surcharges, court costs, crime laboratories, court support services surcharges, jail surcharges, justice information system surcharges and attorney fees.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Family Movie Night: 6 p.m. April 25, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish Center, W314 N7462 Highway 83, North Lake. The movie “Bambi” will start at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Free hot dogs and snacks. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Come in comfy clothes and bring a blanket to relax with. RSVP to the parish office at (262) 966-2191 or at www.blteresaparish.org

Poetry Open Mic Night: 7 p.m. April 25, Books & Company, 1039 Summit Ave., Oconomowoc. Celebrate Poetry Month with an evening a poetry. Read your own or a favorite poet, or enjoy listening to others. Free.

The Brew City Rockers: 9 p.m. April 24, Burke’s Lakeside, 37238 Valley Road, Oconomowoc. The Brew City Rockers are celebrating spring with a party at Burke’s Lakeside. Enjoy a fish fry and stay for the party.

Grow Your Own Salad Gardening Class: 10 a.m. April 25, NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. Join the NuGenesis staff to learn to grow your own delicious and healthy salads at home. $30 recommended donation. www.nugenesisfarm.org

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

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