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EPA Cites Grand Hotel and 20th Filling Station For Underground Fuel Tank Violations in Saipan

Release Date: 10/2/2002
Contact Information: Michael Ardito

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Division of Environmental Quality in Saipan cited the Grand Hotel in Susupe and 20th Filling Station in Chalan Kanoa a collective $3,250 for recent violations of federal underground storage tank regulations.

     The EPA fined the Grand Hotel $1,900 for failing to have adequate leak detection on its piping, overfill prevention on its tanks, and the required underground storage tank pollution insurance. The EPA fined 20th Filling Station $1,350 for failing to have adequate leak detection on its tank and associated piping, failing to install overfill prevention and ensure proper operation of the corrosion protection system, and failing to permanently close an out-of-use tank.

     The EPA also announced today that it had cited six other facilities on Saipan for less significant violations of the federal underground storage tank regulations as part of a larger effort to protect groundwater sources and local habitat in Micronesia.

     "The federal field citation program helps bring underground storage tanks into compliance as quickly as possible without putting the gasoline stations out of business. Leak prevention is critical for underground fuel storage tanks because a pin-sized hole can release 400 gallons of fuel in a year's time, enough to foul millions of gallons of fresh water,"  said Norwood Scott, an EPA underground storage tank inspector for the Pacific Southwest. "Given the limited amount of fresh water on Saipan, the protection of underground water sources is vital."

     A December 1998 federal deadline required regulated underground storage tanks to have spill and overfill equipment, corrosion protection, and release detection methods to prevent releases.

    The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Owners and operators cited are required to correct the violations, submit documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. Failure to comply subjects them to penalties of up to $11,000 per violation per tank per day in addition to the added cleanup costs for leaking tanks.

     More information on the EPA=s underground storage tank program can be obtained at:

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