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EPA Reaches Settlement in Action Against Super Value, Inc. for Underground Storage Tank Violations at New York Facilities

Release Date: 11/10/2004
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(#04174)) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Super Value Incorporated, the Spring Valley, New York-based owner of numerous gas stations throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay a penalty of $132,500 for violations of federal underground storage tank regulations at 12 of its New York facilities. Super Value is headquartered in Spring Valley, New York.

The violations occurred at Super Value owned stations in Monsey, Spring Valley, West Haverstraw, Chester, Yonkers, Middletown, Brewster, New City and Stony Point.

"In areas like central New York where many people particularly those in more rural communities get their drinking water from wells in their backyards, it's essential that tank owners follow EPA's regulations to the letter," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "Gas leaking from underground tanks can contaminate residential wells. These situations are preventable and inexcusable."

As a result of information provided by the company at EPA's request, the Agency determined that 12 gas stations were operating tanks in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The violations included failing to upgrade the tanks by the December 22, 1998 deadline and failing to check for leaks.

In addition to the $132,500 penalty, Super Value is required to submit proof to EPA of compliance with all release detection and reporting regulations at all of its New York facilities. Super Value has also agreed to develop and implement a training course on compliance for all its employees responsible for the operation and maintenance of tanks. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in additional penalties.

Underground storage tanks range in capacity from a few hundred to 50,000 or more gallons, and are used to store gasoline, diesel, heating oil and other fuels, waste oil and hazardous substances at gas stations, marinas, government facilities and large industrial sites. Leaks from tanks often contaminate the soil around the tanks, and can cause unhealthy gasoline vapors to settle into the basements of private homes and apartment buildings. Underground storage tanks have historically been the nation's number-one source of ground water contamination, with over 30,000 leaks and spills from tanks reported annually. EPA and state underground storage tank regulations were put in place to prevent releases of petroleum, and, if a release does occur, to insure that it is addressed immediately.