Owners and operators of 22 underground storage tanks at gasoline stations around Buffalo, NY, are facing $582,803 in fines for corrosion and testing lapses, as well as other violations of federal groundwater regulations.
|Federal regulations require that underground storage tanks be protected from spills, overfills, and corrosion.|
In a legal complaint, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges petroleum contamination of groundwater supplies by five companies that own or operate stations in Buffalo, Amherst, and Tonawanda, NY.
5 Companies Named
• Amerimart Development Company, Inc.;
• Qual-Econ Lease Co. Inc.;
• Commercial Realty Fund II;
• MJG Enterprises Inc.; and
• Clear Alternative of Western NY Inc. (d.b.a. G & G Petroleum).
In addition to paying penalties, the complaint requires the facilities to all come into full compliance with the regulations.
Underground Tank Maintenance
“Gas station owners need to be vigilant in making sure that their petroleum storage tanks do not cause pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “When underground tanks are not properly maintained, ground water can be contaminated, putting people and the environment at risk.”
Ground water is the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. When petroleum or other hazardous substances leak from underground tanks, such leaks are difficult and expensive to clean, particularly if they involve a public source of drinking water, the EPA says.
Testing, Corrosion Lapses Cited
The complaint alleges that one or more of the companies failed to:
• Test the protection systems for two tanks and two fuel lines;
• Meet corrosion protection or other new standards for two tanks and seven fuel lines;
• Conduct release detection every 30 days on 11 tanks;
• Perform annual tests of automatic line leak detector systems for 19 underground storage tanks;
• Provide adequate equipment to protect against tank overfills for 13 underground storage tanks;
• Conduct an annual line tightness test or conduct monthly monitoring of underground pressurized piping for 17 fuel lines;
• Properly cap off two temporarily closed underground storage tanks;
• Keep adequate records of release detection monitoring for three facilities; and
• Respond to a request for information for one facility.
The law authorizes EPA to seek between $11,000 and $16,000 per tank for each day a violation exists.
For more information on proper maintenance of Underground Storage Tanks, visit: http://www.epa.gov/oust/.