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Release Date: 9/29/1995
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA

(San Francisco)--  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced it has cited six gas stations, a car dealership and a defunct helicopter refueling station in Long Beach, and fined them a total of $5,000 for violating underground fuel storage tank regulations under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which governs management of hazardous waste. One other facility was shut down by local police after U.S. EPA discovered a leak in an underground tank.

     "Compliance with underground storage tank regulations is crucial to preventing groundwater and soil contamination from leaking underground tanks," said Laura Yoshii, deputy director for U.S. EPA's Office of Waste Programs. "Fuel tank owners and operators who violate these regulations put our water supplies at risk and may create costly cleanup problems to deal with in the future."

     The eight facilities had a total of 18 violations.  These
included: failing to conduct monthly monitoring of product levels in underground tanks, failing to operate the leak detectors adequately, and failing to repair or close tanks that have temporarily closed.    

     The citations were issued immediately after inspections by U.S. EPA and the Long Beach Fire Department. The facilities cited were Campbell Buick Co Inc., a defunct car dealership; Olen Property Services Corp., the defunct helicopter refueling station; "99" Liquor and Eddie's Gasoline; H & Z Gas Station; Garin Oil Co. #2 Arco; AM Gas Merco; KL Smog Station; and Mel Roberts Enterprises. PCH Mart was the gas station that was not cited but was closed after a leak in a diesel pipe was observed during the inspection.
     The U.S. EPA's underground storage tank (UST) field citation program is designed to quickly bring owners and operators of underground fuel tanks into compliance with federal UST regulations.  Facilities that receive a citation are required to comply with the regulations and pay any penalty within 30 days.  If they do not, they will be subject to a more formal enforcement action, which carries much stiffer penalties.  The citations impose penalties which generally range from $50 to $300 per violation.  

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