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EPA Settles with Military on Tank Issues

Friday, January 31, 2014

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Three military bases in Virginia have paid federal regulators a combined $62,634 in fines to settle allegations of violating underground storage tank regulations.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force cooperated in correcting multiple violations of federal and state environmental safeguards designed to prevent, detect and control leaks of petroleum and other hazardous substances from underground fuel storage tanks.

The case involved corrosion and inspection lapses on more than 30 underground tanks, the EPA said.

Millions of Gallons

"With millions of gallons of petroleum products and hazardous substances stored in USTs throughout the U.S., leaking tanks are a major source of soil and groundwater contamination," the EPA said.

Military penalties
U.S. Army

The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force paid separate penalties to the EPA after allegedly failing to perform annual inspections for fuel line leaks and failing to comply with corrosion safeguards on underground storage tanks.

There are about 578,000 underground storage tanks for petroleum or hazardous substances across the country.

EPA and state regulations for underground storage tanks "are designed to reduce the risk of underground leaks and to promptly detect and properly address leaks, thus minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups."

Three Penalties

The U.S. Army paid a $41,427 penalty for allegedly failing to perform annual inspections on 13 underground storage tanks for fuel line leaks at Fort Pickett in Blackstone, VA.

In October 2012, an EPA inspection found that the inspections had not been conducted for seven diesel fuel tanks, with capacities ranging from 8,000 to 20,000 gallons; five jet fuel storage tanks, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 gallons; and one 10,000-gallon gasoline tank.

The U.S. Air Force paid a $12,709 penalty for allegedly failing to conduct annual testing of line leak detectors on nine tanks: six 10,000-gallon gasoline tanks; one 15,000-gallon jet fuel storage tank; and two 6,000-gallon gasoline and diesel storage tanks.

leaking USTs
EPA

According to the EPA, groundwater contamination is the greatest potential threat from a leaking underground storage tank. There are almost 600,000 underground storage tanks throughout the U.S.

The alleged violations were discovered during an EPA inspection in August 2012 at the Joint Base Langley-Eustis near Newport News, VA.

The U.S. Navy paid an $8,498 penalty for allegedly failing to comply with required corrosion safeguards on two 15,000-gallon diesel and jet fuel storage tanks at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Norfolk, VA.

The EPA cited the Navy for insufficient corrosion protection after a September 2012 inspection and follow-up information requests.

   

Tagged categories: Corrosion protection; Environmental Protection; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Tanks and vessels; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Army; U.S. Navy

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