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American Samoan gas station ordered to correct underground storage tank violations

Release Date: 01/27/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered the Langkilde Service Station to correct alleged federal underground storage tank violations at its facility in Malaloa Village, in Pago Pago, American Samoa, or face fines up to $11,000 per violation per day.

The EPA alleges that the Langkilde Service Station failed to test line tightness or use monthly leak detection monitoring on its petroleum piping. The company’s facility includes five underground tanks, three of which are already temporarily closed, with unleaded fuel and kerosene stored in its two operating tanks.

“We expect tank owners to properly maintain their tanks to prevent them from leaking,” said Jeff Scott, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Waste Division. “Taking this action will ensure American Samoa's fresh water supply is not damaged by negligence.”

The EPA inspected the service station several times and gave the facility numerous opportunities to bring its tanks into compliance but it failed to do so. In a December 2004 letter to the company, the EPA reminded Langkilde that by July 2005 it needed to either install sump sensors designed to detect piping leaks or conduct a line tightness test to determine whether the petroleum piping was sound. In October 2005, the EPA found the company failed to do either.

Langkilde has 45 days to either comply with the federal requirements or cease operation of its tank systems. The company can comply by doing one of three things:

    • closing the two remaining storage tanks;
    • initiating a monthly leak detection method for the active petroleum piping, or;
    • test line tightness for the operating tank systems.

In addition to potential monetary penalties, the company would be responsible for the cleanup costs for any leaking tank systems.

“We would like to have an even playing field in American Samoa so facilities that have spent the money to comply are not at a financial disadvantage for doing so,” said Norwood Scott, of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Communities and Ecosystems Division.

The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. More information on the EPA’s underground storage tank program can be obtained at: # # #