Quincy Oil Terminal Endangering Community

CLF to sue Sprague Energy for violating environmental permit

Sprague Energy's oil terminal in Quincy, MA

May 20, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Sprague Energy’s Washington Street terminal in Quincy, Massachusetts is at risk of spilling potentially millions of gallons of oil into the Town River, the Weymouth Fore River, and nearby neighborhoods. The company has failed to protect against severe weather risks and has unlawfully allowed protective berms surrounding the facility to erode, leaving the site vulnerable to flooding and unable to contain any potential spills. As a result, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has notified the company of its intent to sue for violations of its environmental permit.

“Sprague’s Quincy terminal is an accident waiting to happen,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “The company has allowed the terminal’s protective berms to deteriorate to the point of failure, putting the community at risk of being flooded with a spill of toxic chemicals. It’s also a clear sign that Sprague is failing its legal obligation to prepare the site for the climate crisis. This facility is an imminent threat to homes, public health, and nearby waters, and it’s time the company cleans up its act.”

Sprague’s terminal sits in the middle of the densely populated Quincy Point neighborhood on the banks of the Town River. Protective berms designed to contain any spills inside the facility have become dangerously eroded. Storm surge from a hurricane or a spill at the facility would quickly spread oil into the river or onto the streets of both the Quincy Point and Germantown neighborhoods.

The company’s environmental permits require Sprague to assure that the terminal is designed, operated, and maintained with adequate storm and flooding protection, but it has failed to do so. CLF’s letter notifying the company of the pending lawsuit can be found here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.