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EPA completes three weeks of petroleum tank inspections aimed at increasing enforcement presence on Guam
Release Date: 9/8/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711
HONOLULU -- A recent round of underground storage tank inspections on Guam by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency found the majority of gas stations, including SPPC, ExxonMobil, and Shell, meeting federal underground storage tank requirements.
"It is good to see that the gas stations we inspected met our requirements, but there is still work to be done at facilities that pump gas for their fleet vehicles and others that store petroleum for use in their emergency generators," said Norwood Scott, an U.S. EPA underground storage tank inspector for the Pacific Southwest Region.
Areas that still need improvement include:
-insuring adequate corrosion protection on steel tanks and piping;
-properly closing abandoned underground storage tanks by checking the surrounding area for contamination and cleaning up contamination
if any is found; and
-having adequate pollution insurance to pay for remediation costs associated with leaking tanks.
The U.S. EPA has yet to inspect numerous underground tank facilities on Guam, and a number of facilities have failed to register tanks with the Guam EPA. The U.S. EPA is working with the Guam EPA to inspect all underground tank sites by the end of 2005, citing facilities when necessary, to protect Guam's limited drinking water resources from petroleum contamination.
"Our federal field citation program helps bring these tanks into compliance as quickly as possible without putting the facilities out of business or preventing the use of their emergency generators," said Scott.
The U.S. EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Owners and operators who are cited with a field citation can correct the violations, submit documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. The U.S. EPA can also pursue formal administrative complaints for violations and may subject owners and operators to penalties of up to $11,000 per violation per tank per day in addition to the added cleanup costs for leaking tanks.
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.
More information on the U.S. EPA's underground storage tank program can be obtained at: www.epa.gov/OUST/. For underground storage tank registration forms, please contact the Guam EPA at 671-475-1605.