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North Country

North Country Firm Fined $192,000 Over Pollution Concern

A North Country firm has been fined $192,000 over concerns about the potential for oil polluting the Androscoggin River.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Munce’s Superior Petroleum Products of Gorham is being  ordered to pay a fine of $192,000 for failing to comply with a court order aimed at preventing  oil pollution of the Androscoggin River.

There were never any allegations that oil had reached the river.

The issue is the state’s concern that storage tanks needed to be modified to keep oil that might spill from getting into the Androscoggin.

In August 2010 Munce promised to comply but the company was recently back in court accused of failing to do so.

The company argued it had complied but Coos Superior Court Judge Timothy Vaughan disagreed sayings its assertions were not credible.

Vaughan ordered Munce to pay a  $1,000 a day and through April 12th that totals $192,000.

But the state may never see that money since Munce is in bankruptcy.  However, New Hampshire has asked the bankruptcy court to give it preference.

Robbie Munce, an official with the company, had no comment on the fine. But he stressed no oil had spilled into the river and contended the tanks were a safe distance from it.

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen