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EPA FINES HAWAII FUEL TANK OWNERS FOR UNDERGROUND TANK VIOLATIONS
Release Date: 1/26/2000
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578
LEAK SAFETY FOUND WANTING AT FOUR GAS STATIONS
(San Francisco)-- EPA and Hawaii Health Department officials found serious violations of underground fuel storage tank leak safety rules at four out of 17 fuel facilities inspected this month in Oahu, Molokai, and Lanai. The four gas stations cited, and the penalties assessed, were the Lanai City Service Station on Lanai Ave., Lanai, $1,450; the Arco station owned by BC Oil Ventures on Hui Iwa St. in Kaneohe, Oahu; and two Aloha Petroleum 7-11 stores, on Kalakaua Ave. and Kapalama Ave., Honolulu, $1,200 each. Four additional facilities were cited for lesser violations.
The Lanai City Service Station was cited for failing to perform required monthly monitoring of fuel levels and pressurized piping, and annual testing and maintenance of leak prevention and detection equipment. The Arco Station was citied for failing to conduct an annual test on fuel line leak detectors, and failing to maintain release detection records. The Aloha Petroleum 7-11 stores were cited for failing to operate a corrosion protection system continuously, failing to have leak detection equipment on fuel lines, and failing to conduct required monthly monitoring of fuel lines and annual leak tests on tanks and fuel lines.
Leak prevention is critical for underground fuel storage tanks because unseen leaks caused by corrosion, overfills or spills can pollute underground water supplies. A hole the size of a pin can release 400 gallons of fuel in a year, enough to foul millions of gallons of fresh water. Given the limited supply of fresh surface water in Hawaii, protection of underground water sources is vital. To prevent leaks, federal law since December 1998 has required underground fuel storage tanks to have equipment to prevent spills and overfilling, prevent corrosion, and detect leaks.
Since that date, owners and operators of substandard tanks have been subject to penalties of up to $11,000 a day per tank in addition to cleanup costs for leaking tanks.