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Underground petroleum storage tank violations result in fines for several businesses

03 November 2023

In four separate enforcement agreements, the US Environmental Protection Agency has taken action against several corporate entities operating in New Jersey, New York and the US Virgin Islands to address alleged violations of federal laws regarding the maintenance and operation of underground petroleum storage tank systems. In separate settlements, the companies have agreed to comply and pay penalties.

Representative image: Pixabay
Representative image: Pixabay

“EPA’s requirements are designed to ensure proper maintenance of underground storage tanks. When these tanks are not properly maintained, they can leak and put people and the environment at risk," said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia.EPA takes these requirements very seriously and owners will face penalties if they do not comply.”

When not properly operated and maintained, underground storage tanks (USTs) can leak petroleum and other hazardous substances, threatening soil and water quality. These regulations prevent and detect fuel releases that could contaminate groundwater and pose risks to people’s health and the environment.

In New Jersey, ADPP Enterprises, Inc., and APM Management, Inc., operators of 13 petrol stations in New Jersey, settled a case with the EPA for violating federal rules on USTs storing gasoline or diesel fuel. The EPA discovered that the petrol stations failed to comply with spill prevention, leak detection, inspection, and record keeping requirements for USTs between 2018 and 2020. The owners have agreed to pay a $175,000 (£141,000) penalty and certify their compliance with the UST rules at their facilities.

Wawa, Inc., a New Jersey-based company that operates petrol stations and convenience stores, has settled with the EPA for violating federal regulations on USTs containing gasoline or diesel fuel. Following inspections at nine Wawa facilities in February and March of 2022, EPA determined the company had failed to meet operator training, record keeping, and leak detection requirements for USTs. Wawa has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $26,500 (£21,000) and certify its compliance with UST regulations at its facilities.

In New York, EPA found Dutchess Terminals, Inc., ANK Realty Inc., and Fair Oak, Inc., three companies that own and operate underground storage tanks storing gasoline or diesel fuel at 11 facilities across New York State, in violation of federal rules on financial responsibility, leak detection, spill prevention, and UST inspection requirements between November 2017 and April 2019. The companies have agreed to pay a $150,000 (£121,000) penalty and certify their compliance with the UST rules at their facilities.

AT&T Transoceanic Comm. LLC, which owns and operates underground tanks storing fuel for emergency power generators at 28 facilities in New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, violated federal rules on spill prevention, inspections, and operator training at three of its facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which EPA inspected in 2022. The company has agreed to pay a $40,000 (£32,000) penalty and conduct a comprehensive audit of its compliance with all UST rules at its New York and New Jersey facilities.

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