May 16, 2011

EPA Officials Take Action to Protect Groundwater from Petroleum Contamination

Complaint issued to four New York companies for violating underground storage tank regulations

Environmental Protection Agency officials have issued a complaint to the owners and operators of several upstate New York gasoline stations for violating federal regulations governing 17 underground storage tanks. The complaint, which seeks $233,000 in penalties, was issued to four companies: Andrew B. Chase, Chase Services Inc., Chase Convenience Stores Inc. and Chase Commercial Land Development Inc. These companies own or operate gas stations in Lyon Mountain, N.Y.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Peru, N.Y.; Redford, N.Y.; and Dannemora, N.Y.

“Gas station owners have an important role to play in ensuring that groundwater is not contaminated with petroleum,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “When underground storage tanks are not properly maintained, they can leak and contaminate groundwater, which in many instances in this area of New York is used for drinking water.”

The complaint alleged that the various owners and/or operators failed to:

  • Test the protection system that is designed to prevent corrosion in three underground tanks;
  • Perform annual tests of automatic line leak detector systems for 16 underground tanks;
  • Provide adequate overfill prevention equipment for three underground tanks;
  • Conduct an annual leak test, or conduct monthly monitoring of five underground pressurized pipes;
  • Report, investigate and confirm a suspected release at one facility;
  • Properly cap off and permanently close one underground tank; and
  • Keep adequate records of release detection monitoring.