Tagged Articles

leaking-storage-tank.com 31 articles

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are about 625,000 underground storage tanks (UST) nationwide that store petroleum or other hazardous substances. If these tanks are compromised, they could leak their contents into the ground, creating contamination that may damage the environment and pose a hazard to human health.

In its FY 2007 Annual Report on the Undground Storage Tank Program, the EPA outlines what is being done in conjunction with states, tribes and other partners to prevent, detect and clean up petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks. Such measures are mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

At particular risk of contamination from leaking USTs is groundwater supply. According to the Sierra Club, studies indicate USTs that hold gasoline, oil or other toxic materials risk leaking contaminants such as benzene, toluene and heavy metals that may cause cancer and harm children.

According to the Sierra Club’s report, released in 2004, chemicals in USTs can quickly move through soil and pollute groundwater. The report indicates that one gallon of petroleum can contaminate one million gallons of water, and that one pin-prick size hole in an UST can leak 400 gallons of fuel per year.

The EPA sets standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act for approximately 90 contaminants in drinking water. The EPA sets a legal limit, called the maximum contaminant level, for each of these contaminants.

Ground water is defined as the water that systems pump and treat from aquifers (natural reservoirs below the earth’s surface). The Sierra Club estimates 50 percent of the nation’s population and 100 percent in virtually all rural areas rely on groundwater for drinking water.

Pennsylvania puts federal dollars to use for UST cleanup, removal

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is using part of the $6.1 million in federal stimulus money it received to remove three leaking underground storage tanks in Union Township, according to a report in the Herald-Standard. The tanks in Union Township, located in the southwestern corner of the state, are only 3 of 71 tanks slated for removal statewide this year. Federal environmental records suggest the UST cleanup money will be well spent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania has 3,368 leaking underground storage tank cleanups in its backlog to be completed. Pennsylvania spends $1.5 million per year on ... Read More

New Mexico improves underground storage tank regulations

New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board has modified state rules governing ownership and maintenance of above-ground and underground storage tanks throughout the state. The Environment Department said last week that the changes “make the rules more user-friendly” and were designed to “create a more efficient process to address petroleum storage tank contamination.” Revisions to New Mexico’s storage tank regulations were necessary to comply with federal law, which requires a new section addressing operator training. According to Environmental Protection Division Director Jim Norton, “that part of the regulations will phase in required training of storage tank operators to ensure they understand environmental ... Read More

Economy, regulations create tough times for Florida gas stations

In the United States, Florida has some of the toughest state laws governing the ownership and maintenance of underground storage tanks. In just a few months, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will enforce its Dec. 31, 2009 deadline for all single-wall USTs and piping to be replaced with modern, double-wall tanks and pipes. Then, on Jan. 21, 2010, the agency’s deadline for replacing above-ground tanks without underlying spill containment systems arrives. The new regulations leave many Florida gas station owners worrying about the future of their businesses. The cost of replacing the tanks is extremely prohibitive, especially for the ... Read More

EPA settles with Penn company over multiple UST violations

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement it reached with Handee Marts, Inc., doing business as 7-Eleven, over alleged violations of federal underground storage tank regulations. The two stores held in violation of EPA standards are located in Pittsburgh and Cranberry, Pennsylvania. The parent company, Handee Marts, is based in Gibsonia, Penn. The company agreed to pay $22,758 to settle alleged violations of UST regulations designed to prevent, detect, and control fuel leaks from underground tanks. With hundreds of thousands of USTs throughout the country leaking fuel and other hazardous substances, curbing environmental contamination caused by such releases is one ... Read More

Ohio company penalized for 20-year-old gas leak

The owners of a gas station in Waldo, Ohio, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $161,550 for a petroleum leak that took place more than 20 years ago. According to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations, the Waldo Duchess gas station will also “conduct the necessary corrective actions and cleanup” to resolve the complaint. According to the Attorney General, the gas station owners removed seven underground storage tanks from the property in December 1988. The state conducted an inspection at the time and found that petroleum had ... Read More

Maryland county settles UST violations with EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with the Frederick County, Maryland, board of county commissioners over multiple violations of federal underground storage tank regulations. According to the EPA, Frederick County owns and operates three underground storage tanks, yet it failed to uphold federal regulations and safety measures designed to protect the land and water from becoming contaminated by substances released from underground tanks. The County agreed to pay penalties of $4,600 for failing to maintain release detection records on three tanks between March and December 2007. The EPA also found that the county never performed automatic leak ... Read More

Family’s water contaminated by leaking gas station tanks

A leaking underground storage tank on the premises of an old, defunct gas station in Keswick, Virginia, demonstrates how destructive a seemingly innocuous fuel tank leak can be. A report by Charlottesville News & Arts tells the story of David and Holli Traud, who bought a brand-new home just east of Charlottesville last year. However, when they moved in, they noticed that the tap water in their new home had a strange smell and bad taste. At first the Trauds assumed the water’s bad odor and taste came from being unused, so they gave it the benefit of the doubt ... Read More

California’s UST cleanup funds have dried up

California’s State Water Resources Control Board oversees the implementation of some of the country’s strictest environmental regulations, including those that govern the inspection, monitoring, removal, and cleanup of underground storage tanks. The only problem is that the cash-strapped state doesn’t have enough money in its Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund to cover all the UST work in progress. According to the North Bay Business Journal, many businesses in the San Francisco Bay area with leaking USTs in their charge are not being reimbursed for the mandatory removal and cleanup of the toxic leaking tanks. UST removal and cleanup ... Read More

Kentucky oil company repeatedly damages environment, sued by state

A Kentucky oil company faces a criminal investigation and possible $25,000-per-day fines for multiple environmental violations that have marred the local community, according to a report by Convenience Store News Online. Childers Oil Co., a petroleum vendor and operator of 45 convenience stores, is responsible for a serious oil sludge leak in November of last year and a diesel fuel leak February. According to government records, Childers Oil, which is based in the eastern Kentucky city of Whitesburg, has also been cited for at least 10 other violations since 1995. The November incident occurred when oil waste from a Childers ... Read More

New UST law may kill California’s biodiesel business

In a 3-1 vote, California’s State Water Resources Control Board approved legislation that will require motor fuels containing more than 20 percent biodiesel to be stored in above ground tanks. It seems strange that regular petroleum diesel can be stored in underground tanks while “green” fuel must be stored above ground for fear of leakage and possible environmental contamination. But California has a law mandating that underground storage tanks be independently certified as leak proof before they can be used to store  new types of fuel, such as high-grade biodiesels. That testing and certification process can take as long as ... Read More