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Inspectors Find Most Underground Storage Tanks in Oklahoma Meet Standards

Release Date: 6/2/1999
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports overall good results of its first inspection sweep in Oklahoma since the new standards for underground storage tanks became effective Dec. 22, 1998.

     In January and February, EPA worked with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to inspect tanks at 30 facilities. Seven citations totaling more than $6,000 in penalties were issued during the inspection tour. Most citations were for failure to conduct adequate leak detection, which has been required since Dec. 22, 1993, and for not installing adequate corrosion protection on metal pipes.

     "Because they are buried out of sight, it is easy to forget the threat posed by underground storage tanks. It takes only one gallon of gasoline to ruin five million gallons of drinking water. And water contaminated by petroleum products is difficult and expensive to clean. Leaks from substandard tanks are the leading cause of ground water contamination. One substandard tank can threaten the health and safety of an entire neighborhood," Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     Regulations adopted Dec. 22, 1988, require that underground storage tanks have spill and overfill prevention devices and corrosion protection systems for all metal parts. Tanks installed after that date must meet these requirements. Owners were given 10 years, until Dec. 22, 1998, to upgrade or properly close tanks that had been installed before the new standards were adopted

     Since these standards were adopted 10 years ago, they have greatly reduced the threat to human health and the environment posed  by underground storage tanks. More than 1.2 million substandard tanks have been taken out of service, eliminating potential leaks. Nationwide, about three-fourths of the buried tanks met the Dec. 22, 1998, deadline.

     Oklahoma credits its "lock-down" program for the state's nearly perfect compliance rate. The state has closed 565 facilities and another 300 voluntarily shut until they could be upgraded. Also, distributors are prohibited from delivering products to any tank without a state-issued tag showing compliance with the standards.

     A list of facilities inspected during the sweep follows. Some citations were for improper record- keeping. Accurate records are important because they are the only way to document compliance with the leak-detection requirements. EPA is considering the appropriate enforcement action for violations found during the inspection of  tanks at Total #4434 at 1415 W. Main in Norman.

Penalties for violations found at the following facilities: 

Interstate 66, 101 NW 27th St, Moore
$900 for inadequate vapor monitoring and no corrosion protection on piping components

Alameda Superette, 1330 E. Alameda, Norman
$1,500 for no line leak detector, no corrosion protection on piping & inadequate vapor monitoring

Kwik Stop #27, 2401 E. Imhoff, Norman
$50 for inadequate inventory control, not measuring to 1/8th inch

Mr. Shortstop #1, 2007 W. Lindsey, Norman
$1,500 for no line leak detector, no corrosion protection on line at dispenser

Normandy Creek Texaco, 2132b W. Main, Norman
$300 for no line tightness test

Lucas Oil Co, 2 W. Broadway, Okehman
$1,650 for inadequate release detection and failure to meet the 1998 requirements

North May Texaco, Oklahoma City
$300 for inadequate vapor monitoring

No violations were found at the following facilities: 

Loves Country Store #80, 524 W. Main, Ada
Allen Quick Pick, Highway 48, Allen
Sinclair #35009, 1701 Rockwell, Bethany  
Bill's First Stop Texaco, Eufala
Quik Lube Citgo, McAlester  
Quik Mart Citgo, McAlester
Conoco #36047, 800 NE 12th St, Moore
Phillips 66 #57347, 700 SE 4th St, Moore
J. Boties #5 Food Store, 3750 W. Main, Norman
7-Eleven #84, 3205 W. Robinson, Norman
Conoco, Station #36030, 2101 NW 122nd, Oklahoma City
Conoco #36044, Oklahoma City  
7-Eleven #10, Oklahoma City
7-Eleven #16, 9416  S. Western, Oklahoma City
7-Eleven, Store #41, Oklahoma City
North Penn Kicks 66, Station # 57343, 12300 N. Penn, Oklahoma City
Phillips 66, Station # 57345, 2201 NW 23rd, Oklahoma City
Sinclair #35007, Oklahoma City
Stax, Station #1612, 4844 NW 23rd, Oklahoma City
Texaco Food Mart #501, Oklahoma City
Texaco Food Mart, Reno Partners LLC, 3701 W. Reno, Oklahoma City