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U.S. EPA CITES FACILITIES ON NAVAJO NATION FOR TANK VIOLATIONS

Release Date: 5/16/1995
Contact Information: Lois A. Grunwald, (415) 744-1588

  (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) today announced it has issued notices to nine
facilities on the Navajo Nation for violating underground storage
tank (UST) regulations under the federal Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act, which governs management of hazardous wastes.


     The notices were issued after U.S. EPA and Navajo EPA
conducted inspections of 11 facilities last month in the
Shiprock, Ft. Defiance and Window Rock areas of the Navajo
Nation. The facilities that received notices were Navajo Nation
Fleet Mgt., Window Rock; Conoco Chief, Thriftway #259, Northern
Navajo Medical Center, and Little Water Trading Post, Shiprock;
and Ft. Defiance 7-2-11, Ft. Defiance Fina, and Thriftway #225,
Ft. Defiance. The Naschitti Trading Post in Shiprock, and BIA
Forestry in Window Rock were inspected and found in compliance.


     "Federal regulations are mandated to ensure that leaks from
underground tanks and piping systems are quickly detected so that
major soil and groundwater contamination of Navajo Nation lands
can be prevented," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA's regional
hazardous waste management division director. "Facility owners
and operations who violate these regulations put water supplies
at risk and may create costly cleanup problems to deal with in
the future."


     The joint inspections by the U.S. EPA and Navajo EPA's
underground storage tank programs are designed to quickly bring
underground storage facilities into compliance with federal UST
violations. The facilities that received violation notices are
required to provide documentation of compliance within 60 days.
If they do not comply, the facilities will be subject to fines
ranging from $50 to $300 for each violation. If compliance is not
achieved through the field citation process, U.S. EPA's UST
program can seek penalties of up to $10,000 for each tank per day
of violation. U.S. EPA and Navajo EPA will continue to conduct
inspections on Navajo lands.


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