Sprague Energy is facing a likely $17,500 fine for lax emissions monitoring on one of the company’s smokestacks at its Mack Point facility, according to a report from the Department of Environmental Protection.

An administrative consent agreement set to go before the Maine Board of Environmental Protection Thursday, Dec. 16, states that Sprague failed to keep emissions opacity monitoring equipment for one of its boiler smokestacks online for the required 95 percent of operating time, letting that figure fall to 90 percent for a period during the second quarter of 2008.

The report also indicated that Sprague had violated emissions opacity standards additional times between 2003 and 2009.

Duane Seekins, manager of terminal operations at Sprague’s Mack Point facility, accounted for the downtime, saying the boiler needed replacement parts that were slow to arrive. As a remedy, he said, the company had downgraded the boiler for less steam so that it fell below the threshold that requires 95-percent monitoring.

Seekins said the change would not affect Sprague’s operations at Mack Point.

Air, water and other environmental infractions sometimes are reported by the company and other times are discovered during inspections by staff of the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, who, along with the Board of Environmental Protection, make up the agency of the DEP.

According to Seekins, the Sprague figures were taken from the company’s own emissions reports. Though Sprague has agreed to the fine, the agreement must now go before BEP for additional review, and ultimately to the Office of the Attorney General for final approval.

BEP Executive Analyst Cindy Bertocci said the extra steps were intended to give more oversight in cases where a fine is involved. She anticipated that the board would approve the agreement between DEP and Sprague.