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EPA FINES TWO NEW YORK CITY CORPORATIONS OVER $10 MILLION FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK VIOLATIONS

 EPA FINES TWO NEW YORK CITY CORPORATIONS OVER $10 MILLION
 FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK VIOLATIONS
 NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), working in consultation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, has issued two major Complaints and Compliance Orders to corporations operating gasoline stations in New York City for violations of federal underground storage tank system leak detection, closure and notification regulations.
 Federal underground storage tank leak detection requirements were developed to prevent tank and piping leaks. Failure to comply with these requirements can allow the release of petroleum products to go undetected and can cause serious safety and contamination problems. In fact, some instances of releases and contamination have already been found and are being investigated by the New York State spill program. Leaking underground storage tanks can cause fires or explosions that threaten human safety, especially in highly populated areas such as New York City.
 The complaints include assessed penalties which total $10,156,970 and cite violations of the underground storage tank requirements of the Solid Waste Disposal Act. These complaints are part of an underground storage tank enforcement initiative that Region II began in March. Additional enforcement action is planned in New York State.
 Gaseteria Oil Corporation of Brooklyn, N.Y., operates 71 retail gasoline stations in the New York City area. The Complaint issued to Gaseteria cites four counts; the first is for failure to meet release detection requirements for 305 underground storage tanks, the second is for failure to perform release detection for 305 underground storage tank piping systems, the third is for failure to close 20 tanks within one year of being taken out of service, and the fourth is for failure to provide requested information. The total penalty assessed for Gaseteria's violations of underground storage tank regulations is $5,591,657.
 Northland Marketing Corporation, also of Brooklyn, N.Y., operates 49 retail gasoline stations in Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Complaint issued to Northland cites four counts; the first is for failure to conduct release detection for 258 underground storage tanks, the second is for failure to perform release detection for 258 underground storage tank piping systems, the third is for failure to notify the designated state agency of the existence of 19 underground storage tank systems, and the fourth is for failure to close one tank within one year of being taken out of service. The total penalty assessed for Northland's violations of underground storage tank regulations is $4,565,313.
 "EPA is committed to the enforcement of underground storage tank regulations and will ensure that federal requirements are enforced throughout the region," said EPA Regional Administrator Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff. "EPA will continue to work with New York State to build a program that protects the public from the dangers of leaking underground storage tanks." Eristoff's remarks refer to EPA Region II, which is comprised of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
 "EPA will remain diligent and plans additional inspections to determine compliance with these regulations. I anticipate more enforcement actions in New York," said Air and Waste Management Division Director Conrad Simon.
 Several million underground storage tanks in the United States contain petroleum or hazardous chemicals. Tens of thousands of these underground storage tanks including their piping are currently leaking. The EPA enforcement actions are aimed at stopping such leaks and preventing additional leaks.
 Compliance with the regulations for underground storage tanks is the responsibility of owners and operators. New York State underground storage tank owners and operators must comply with both state and federal regulations.
 Owners and operators concerned about the status of their compliance should contact the following underground storage tank information offices:
 Federal 212-264-3384
 New York State 518-457-4351
 New Jersey 609-984-3156
 -0- 7/20/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Breitenbach of the EPA, 212-264-2515 CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Gasteria Oil Corporation;
 Northland Marketing Corporation ST: New York IN: SU:


GK-SB -- NY067 -- 0829 07/20/92 14:42 EDT
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Date:Jul 20, 1992
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