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Sheetz, Inc. Settles Underground Fuel Tank Violations in Pa., Va., Md., and W. Va.

Release Date: 4/19/2005
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – Sheetz, Inc., owner of a chain of convenience stores and gas stations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, has settled alleged violations of regulations designed to prevent fuel leaks from underground storage tanks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

In a settlement agreement with EPA, the Altoona, Pa.-based company will pay a $26,024 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal and state underground storage tank regulations. The settlement resolves an EPA complaint involving underground storage tank violations at two Sheetz stores in Winchester, Va.

According to EPA’s complaint, the company failed to immediately investigate and report suspected leaks in 2000 and 2001 from seven 15,000-gallon gasoline and diesel fuel tanks at stores located at 2311 Valley Avenue and 1683 Berryville Pike in Winchester, Va. EPA also cited the company for failing to conduct required monthly leak detection monitoring of the underground storage tanks at its Valley Avenue store.

After EPA notified Sheetz of these violations in September 2002, the company agreed to perform a self-audit of underground storage tank leak detection monitoring at 275 Sheetz stores in the mid-Atlantic states. Sheetz also agreed to promptly correct any non-compliance and report those violations to EPA.

“Today’s settlement resolves both the initial violations found at two Virginia stores and violations found during the self-audits. In addition, the company will undertake supplemental projects where it will make upgrades to underground storage tank systems that go beyond environmental compliance to better protect the local environment,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

The self-audits showed various violations of underground storage tank monitoring, investigation, and leak detection regulations in 111 Sheetz stores. To settle the violations found during the self-audits, Sheetz has agreed to pay an additional penalty of $57,188. The company will also undertake a supplemental project to remove and upgrade its underground storage tank systems. The project exceeds the requirements of state and federal environmental regulations and will have a value of at least $875,000 and goes beyond compliance.

The settlement penalties reflect the company=s good faith compliance efforts and cooperation with EPA in this matter. As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.

With millions of gallons of gasoline, oil, and other petroleum products stored in underground storage tanks throughout the U.S., leaking tanks are a major source of soil and groundwater contamination. EPA and state underground storage tank regulations are designed to reduce the risk of underground leaks, and thus avoid the costs of major cleanups. For more information on EPA=s underground storage tank program, visit: