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EPA’s Latest Underground Storage Tank Inspections in Idaho Revealed Improved Leak Compliance

Release Date: 6/1/2005
Contact Information: Erik Sirs
(208) 378-5762

June 1, 2005

“Many Facilities Still Have Problems”

For the past three years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has routinely inspected gas stations and convenience stores statewide as part of an ongoing initiative to protect Idaho’s groundwater.

The results of the most recent round of inspections were announced today in Boise by Jim Werntz, EPA Idaho state director. The inspections looked at facilities from Lewiston, to Moscow, and from the Boise to Twin Falls and surrounding areas. According to Werntz, in each case, facilities were notified by mail in advance of the inspection.

“We’ve been focused on facilities in Idaho because of the low rates of compliance. I am encouraged by these results, which indicated that more operators are paying attention to the important leak prevention requirements,” said Werntz.

“We’d like to see even more improvement, because Idaho still has the lowest compliance rates in the Northwest. Since Idahoans depend on ground water for safe drinking water and for irrigation uses, it makes sense to prevent petroleum from leaking into ground water,” said Werntz. “Once gasoline is in the ground, it’s difficult and expensive to cleanup.”

The latest inspection effort included the following findings:

      • 79 inspections were conducted, identifying 90 violations for a total of $14,100 in penalties.
      • 14% increase in the number of facilities properly managing the leak prevention requirements.
    Idaho remains the only U.S. state without an UST program, the responsibility to inspect 1,350 facilities statewide falls to the EPA.

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