Tagged Articles

underground tank 13 articles

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

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

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

Bill to protect UST funds passes Illinois House

Back in March we talked about how the money in Illinois’ Underground Storage Tank Fund was being spent for other purposes under the Blagojevich administration, leaving some businesses that performed extensive (and expensive) tank cleanup work for the state high and dry. Now state representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) has introduced a bill to the legislature that would protect the state’s UST fund from future sweeps and transfers. Illinois’ House bill 770 underscores the importance of maintaining a fund for UST cleanup. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency administers the UST Fund, which the agency established in 1989 to help tank owners ... Read More

gas stations illustrate need for tougher environmental regulations

In the past few weeks we have looked at how underground storage tanks, particularly older tanks belonging to gas stations, can and often do compromise the health of the surrounding environment and everything in it, including humans. The Environmental Protection Agency has logged more than 620,000 active storage tanks throughout the United States. Of those tanks, some 480,000 tanks have or have had “confirmed releases.” The problem is so extensive that the EPA established the Office of Underground Storage Tanks to confront it. Since its founding 25 years ago, the EPA’s UST office has removed 1.7 million substandard tanks and ... Read More

Contaminated water from UST sickens Colorado town

When we talk about underground storage tanks, we normally talk about how the contents of a leaking UST contaminate surrounding soil and groundwater. This week, however, the Denver Post reported a case of the opposite when soil contaminated with deadly bacteria permeated the walls of one town’s UST. Because the town used the faulty tank to store clean drinking water, hundreds and possibly thousands of town residents became sick. According to the report, 442 people in the southern Colorado town of Alamosa became violently ill after drinking the city’s tap water, which tests revealed to be positive for a potent strain ... Read More

Leaking underground tank funds used for other purposes in Illinois

An Illinois newspaper reports that former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich skimmed millions of dollars off his state’s motor fuel taxes fund to pay for his health care program. According to one local businessman whose company, United Science Industries, removed leaking underground storage tanks for the state, Illinois owes him nearly $20 million for tank cleanup work already performed. But the money isn’t there. “I feel very strongly that dedicated funds should be left alone so they can serve the purpose they were meant to serve,” John Cavaletto (R-Salem) told the House Government Committee, according to a report in the Mt. ... Read More

Indiana man sues after leaking fuel tank forces him out of house

A leaking underground storage tank (or LUST) is the basis of a lawsuit in which a Muncie, Indiana, man accuses his neighbors of failing to warn him about an old tank on their property that was slowly but steadily contaminating the ground. Jeffrey Wray, a computer technician for a local hospital, alleges that his neighbors, the owners of a former gas station, failed to warn him that the ground and water beneath his house had been contaminated by fuel from a LUST. According to the lawsuit, the problem continued unabated for years, finally forcing Wray out of his home. “The ... Read More

Do you live near a leaking underground storage tank?

Unless you live in a remote, rural region of the United States, chances are you live within a few feet of an underground storage tank (UST). These tanks, which by definition have at least 10% of their volume underground, typically store fuel and other hazardous – and highly corrosive – liquids. Older tanks were made without the benefits of corrosion-resistant polymers or double containment standards, so they can easily leak. In fact, they usually do. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that there are 623,319 USTs in the United States and its territories. Of those USTs, there have been 479,817 “confirmed ... Read More