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North Country Gas Station Owners to Install Equipment to Prevent Ground Water Pollution

Release Date: 04/29/2013
Contact Information: Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y. – April 23, 2013) The owners of nine gas stations in New York State’s North Country will spend a minimum of $112,000 to improve how their gas stations detect leaks as the result of an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Adirondack Energy Products, Inc. and its affiliated companies will also pay a $46,000 fine under the agreement, which addresses their failure to comply with federal laws regarding the proper maintenance and operation of underground petroleum storage tank systems. When not properly maintained, underground storage tanks can pose threats to soil, surface water and ground water.

      "Gas station owners have a responsibility to regularly monitor their underground storage tanks to protect against potential leaks of petroleum," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Leaking tanks can contaminate ground water, putting people and the environment at risk."

      EPA inspections of the companies’ tanks revealed that they had failed to comply with important requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the law governing underground storage tanks. In addition to paying penalties, the agreement requires all facilities owned by Adirondack Energy Products, Inc. and its affiliated companies to come into full compliance with the regulations. The companies own gas stations in Plattsburgh, Massena, Malone, Moira and Canton, New York.

      Adirondack Energy Products, Inc. and its affiliated companies will remove conventional leak detection devices from the nine gas stations and replace them with more technologically-advanced leak detection equipment. This equipment will collect all leak detection data and then electronically transmit it to handheld mobile devices carried by the companies’ Environment, Health and Safety Officer and Systems and Equipment Manager. Under the agreement, the companies will also hire a third-party contractor to conduct an environmental compliance audit at each of the nine gas stations, and hire a contractor to conduct a seminar to educate other owners and operators of underground storage tanks about federal regulations.

      In a separate action, the EPA reached an agreement earlier this year with the United Refining Company to settle alleged violations involving seventeen underground storage tanks at six stations in Western New York. Under the terms of the agreement, United Refining will pay a fine of $24,000 and has agreed to operate its underground tanks in full compliance with the law.

      For more information on underground storage tanks, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/ust/

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.
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