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EPA Fines U.S. Postal Service for Underground Fuel Tank Violations

Release Date: 5/13/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711, Norwood Scott, (415) 972-3373

Honolulu and Waikiki Locations Cited for Monitoring and Maintenance Failures

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working jointly with Hawai'i Department of Health staff, fined the U.S. Postal Service in Hawai'i $1,500 for violating federal underground storage tank regulations.

The Waikiki and the Honolulu Main Post Office were cited for failing to monitor their tanks at least every 30 days for petroleum releases and for neglecting the required annual maintenance on their leak detection systems.

The EPA also cited two other facilities in Hawai'i for less significant violations of the federal underground storage tank regulations as part of a larger effort to protect groundwater sources and local habitat in the state.

"The federal field citation program helps bring underground storage tanks into compliance as quickly as possible without putting the gasoline stations out of business," said Norwood Scott, an underground storage tank inspector for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Leak prevention is critical for underground fuel storage tanks because a pin-sized hole can release 400 gallons of fuel in a year's time, enough to foul millions of gallons of fresh water. Plus, given the reliance on groundwater in Hawai'i, it is vital to protect underground water resources."

The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Owners and operators who receive a citation are required to correct the violations, submit requested documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. If they do not pay the settlement amount and comply within this time, they are subject to formal enforcement action that carries penalties of up to $11,000 per violation per tank per day in addition to the added cleanup costs for leaking tanks.

More information on EPA's underground storage tank program can be obtained at:
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