AMA Mini Marts Pays $30,000 Penalty to EPA

Three Klamath Falls, Ore., stations failed to check tanks for leaks

SEATTLE -- The owners and operators of three AMA Mini Mart gas stations in Klamath Falls, Ore., have agreed to pay $30,000 for failing to properly monitor seven underground storage tanks (USTs) for leaks for more than two years, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Under federal and state rules, owners and operators of USTs are required to test tanks for leaks on a monthly basis in order to protect groundwater from pollution, said Edward Kowalski, the EPA's Director of the Office of Compliance & Enforcement in Seattle.

"Out of sight should not [image-nocss] mean out of mind when it comes to underground fuel storage tanks," said Kowalski. "Groundwater is often a community's only source of drinking water. Owners of tanks must do their part to prevent oil and gas leaks and help protect people from polluted water."

EPA inspected the AMA Mini Marts in October 2009 and found that all of the USTs at the three sites lacked the required monthly release detection for the tanks and annual testing required for the associated piping, a violation of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

EPA alleges that AMA Mini Mart owner Anesti Audeh was in violation from at least October 2008 through March 2011. The owner has since taken action to bring the three AMA Mini Mart facilities into compliance and has agreed to submit compliance documentation to EPA for the next six months.

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