An Idaho oil company has agreed to pay $171,091 to settle a series of fuel storage tank violations dating to 1991 at former gas stations across Idaho, federal officials say.
The settlement, with Goodman Oil Co. and Goodman Oil Co. of Lewiston, was approved Oct. 1 by the federal court in Boise, ID, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, which initiated the action.
The agreement covers a range of violations that began as early as 1991 and ended in 2009, federal officials said. The companies have agreed to pay the penalty from the sale of their properties in Idaho and Oregon.
A Goodman Oil company official declined Thursday (Oct. 21) to comment on the case.
Groundwater Contamination Risk
The violations occurred at former gas stations owned by the Goodman Oil companies in Boise, Homedale, Nampa, Weiser and Lewiston, ID. EPA inspectors identified fuel storage tanks at the stations that were not compliant with EPA requirements. The tanks risked contaminating groundwater, which is a primary source of drinking water for much of Idaho, EPA said.
“Poorly maintained fuel storage tanks and piping can endanger an area’s groundwater supply, so gas station owners must keep storage systems in good shape,” said Peter Contreras, manager of the Ground Water Unit at the EPA in Seattle. “Thousands of people in Idaho depend on groundwater, so we expect facilities to run their businesses in a way that protects nearby residents.”
Failure to Inspect, Upgrade
Officials said the range of violations included failure to:
• Conduct adequate leak detection;
• Upgrade pipes and tanks in a timely way to prevent corrosion;
• Comply with an EPA request for information on the facilities; and
• Document financial resources to clean up petroleum releases and cover potential hazards to third parties, including citizens, in the event of a release.
The Boise-based companies have since closed or sold most of their facilities in Idaho and Oregon
Storage tanks that are not properly maintained may leak fuel and chemicals into groundwater, which can harm human health. There are approximately 96,000 confirmed releases from storage tanks awaiting cleanup across the nation, EPA and the Justice Department reported.