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Roundup: EPA Compliance Settlements Mandate Automated UST Monitoring Systems

Posted by Jon McGoran on 2017-05-31

As part of a broader effort to increase the integration of high-tech solutions to underground storage tank compliance challenges, the EPA has included the installation of state-of-the-art tank alarm systems in the terms of a number of recent settlements involving underground storage tank compliance violations.

Move to Digital Detection

In one settlement, after failing to meet emergency planning requirements, the Washington state fuel distributor Christensen Inc. agreed to pay a fine of $65,670 and to install leak detection technology and web-based monitoring systems on 180 underground storage tanks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

The system instantly notifies a central management system in the event of a potential or actual leak.

New York State Goes High Tech

A separate settlement followed allegations that eight Albany-area gas stations operated by Falcon Petroleum, LLC and its affiliated companies, RGLL, Inc. and GRJH, Inc., had failed to fully comply with parts of the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The companies agreed to a settlement with EPA that includes a $60,000 civil penalty and the stipulation that the companies upgrade leak detection equipment and connect tanks at 26 gas stations in New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire to a similar centralized monitoring program.

EPA: Next Generation Enforcement

“Gas station owners have a responsibility to regularly monitor their underground storage tanks to protect against potential leaks,” said Acting EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan in a recent news release. “This agreement includes an innovative centralized monitoring program, which will protect the environment by helping to ensure that the companies’ underground tanks…are monitored on a continuous basis.”

According to an EPA statement on the Falcon Petroleum settlement, “The centralized monitoring component of this agreement is consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Next Generation enforcement efforts, which focus on increasing compliance with environmental regulations by integrating the use of advanced technologies, such as pollution detection systems and information technologies, with traditional compliance measures.”

Leaking underground storage tanks contaminate water and soil. Automated leak detection helps minimize harm to the environment and prevents costly cleanups. Monitoring systems are set to begin transmitting data by September 2017, and will be fully operational by August 2018.

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