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U.S. EPA cites Guam facilities for underground fuel tank violations

Release Date: 3/3/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working with Guam Environmental Protection Agency staff, fined four Guam facilities a total of $1,800 recently for federal underground storage tank violations as part of a larger effort to protect groundwater sources and local habitat in Micronesia.

The EPA cited the AAFES Service Station at Anderson Air Force Base, MCI Agana, Tumon Bay Capital Hotel and Hotel Palmridge for violations including:

  • lack of required maintenance on release detection systems,
  • failing to have adequate pollution insurance,
  • failing to notify Guam EPA 30 days prior to bringing a UST system into use, and
  • failing to have overfill prevention equipment installed on operating tanks.

"The federal field citation program helps bring underground storage tanks into compliance as quickly as possible without putting the facilities 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 Region. "Given the limited amount of fresh water on Guam, 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 working with Guam Environmental Protection Agency staff plan to inspect all UST systems on Guam by the end of 2005.

The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Owners and operators who are cited are required to correct the violations, submit documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. Failure to comply may subject 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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