For immediate release - Tuesday, October 1, 2002.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699
Williams Pipe Line Paying $300,000 Penalty for Air
at Waterloo Gasoline Terminal
Attorney General Tom Miller said today that Williams Pipe Line Company has been ordered to pay a $300,000 civil
penalty, resolving a lawsuit filed by Miller's Office that alleged air pollution emission and control violations at Williams'
bulk gasoline terminal in Waterloo, Iowa.
Judge George Stigler entered a consent order late yesterday in Black Hawk County District Court resolving the lawsuit filed
in August by Miller's Environmental Law Division. For purposes of settlement, Williams admitted most of the violations
alleged by the State. The lawsuit alleged that excessive dangerous gas fumes were emitted for several years at loading
racks of the terminal, exceeding levels permitted by state and federal regulations.
Miller said that Williams cooperated with the state and moved quickly to remedy the matter. "Williams spent over $3.8
million to fix the air pollution problem," he said. "They installed new loading racks and vapor control systems that reduce
emissions to just 1% of their former level."
Williams brings gasoline to the Waterloo terminal by pipeline, stores the fuel in large tanks, and transfers fuel to tanker
trucks for distribution to gas stations and other outlets. The terminal has a permit to handle up to 260 million gallons of
fuel per year.
The lawsuit filed August 7 by Miller's Office on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources alleged numerous air
pollution control violations and excess emissions of "volatile organic compounds" and hazardous air pollutants such as
benzene and toluene.
"The situation was akin to vapors being released when you fill your car with gas, except this terminal handles hundreds of
millions of gallons of gasoline," Miller said. "We are very pleased that Williams promptly stepped forward to fix the
The suit alleged excessive gasoline fumes were emitted because the terminal used "splash loading" rather than "submerged
loading" techniques. In submerged loading, the fill pipe is inserted almost to the bottom of the gasoline cargo tank, which
reduces turbulence and vapors as gas is loaded. Submerged loading cuts air pollution emissions by 40% compared to
splash loading, where the fill pipe is not submerged. The suit alleged that Williams failed to equip the terminal with a
vapor collection system required by regulations for a facility with the volume handled at Waterloo.
Judge Stigler's order noted that Williams has installed a new controlled loading dock with vapor collection and processing
systems, installed secondary seals for four gasoline storage tanks with a capacity of over 7 million gallons, and made other
improvements not required by law. The total cost of the improvements was $3,816,620.
Gasoline vapor emissions contain volatile organic compounds such as benzene and toluene. A small portion of the
compounds are considered to be dangerous. In 2001, about 534 tons of volatile organic compounds were emitted into the
air from the loading rack at the Williams terminal in Waterloo. With the new equipment, the emissions are expected to be
only about 5 tons per year.
Williams Pipe Line Company, LLC, is a petroleum distribution company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Waterloo
terminal is located on US Highway 63 south of downtown Waterloo.
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