EPA Fines N.Y. Gas Stations Nearly $290,000

Buffalo-area operators failed corrosion, testing, record-keeping requirements

BUFFALO, N.Y. --The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has levied penalties against four gas-station owners and operators in the Buffalo, N.Y., area totaling $287,100 for failing to meet several federal regulations covering underground storage tanks (UST).

underground storage tanks

In August 2012, the EPA issued a complaint to the owners of the sites, which are located in Buffalo, Amherst and Tonawanda, accusing them of violating one or more federal regulations, including:

  • Meet corrosion protection for tanks and fuel lines.
  • Conduct release detection every 30 days on tanks.
  • Test the USTs’ automatic line leak detector systems annually.
  • Provide adequate equipment to protect against tank overfills.
  • Test line tightness annually or conduct monthly monitoring of underground pressurized piping for the fuel lines.
  • Properly cap off closed USTs.
  • Keep adequate records of release detection monitoring.
  • Respond to a request for information.

The agency reached an agreement with one operator, Amerimart Development Co., Grand Island, N.Y., to settle the alleged UST violations at its gas stations.

According to the EPA, three other operators—Qual-Econ Lease Co. Inc., Tonawanda, N.Y.; MJG Enterprises Inc., Tonawanda; and Clear Alternative of Western NY Inc. (d.b.a. G & G Petroleum), Kenmore, N.Y.—failed to resolve the problems. A judge has given them 30 days to bring their gas stations into compliance with federal law and to pay the fines owed.

“Gas-station owners will be held accountable if they fail to follow environmental rules that protect our water,” said EPA regional administrator Judith A. Enck. “When ground water is not protected from improperly maintained petroleum storage tanks, people and the environment are put at risk. All gas station owners must regularly monitor their underground storage tanks to prevent petroleum leaks.”

Click here for more information on maintaining USTs.

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