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Underground Tank Owners Have One Month Left To Comply With EPA Regulations

Release Date: 11/23/1998
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540

Philadelphia - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reminds owners and operators of federally regulated underground storage tanks that time is running out until the December 22, 1998 deadline to upgrade, replace, or properly close their tanks. The EPA set this deadline 10 years ago to allow plenty of time to comply with the environmental regulation.

Most underground storage tanks subject to these requirements are used to store gasoline, diesel fuel, or other petroleum products at places such as: gas stations, airports, private and public bus fleets, military bases, industrial plants, and fueling depots.  Home heating oil tanks are not covered by federal regulations.

Under EPA regulations that took effect December 22, 1988, tanks installed before that date and not protected against corrosion, spills, and overfills must be upgraded, replaced, or properly closed by December 22, 1998.  Other regulatory requirements, including those for leak detection, financial responsibility, and reporting and cleanup of leaks will remain in effect.

"The greatest potential hazard from leaking underground storage tanks is that petroleum or hazardous substances can contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans," W. Michael McCabe, Regional Administrator for EPA said.

EPA’s regulations do not provide for a grace period without any penalty.  Given the threat that substandard tanks pose to human health and the environment, EPA and the states will identify violations, ensure they are corrected, and impose appropriate penalties.

For more specific information, contact your state’s underground storage tank program: Delaware - 302-395-2500; D.C. - 202-645-6080 (ext. #3009); Maryland - 410-631-3442; Pennsylvania - 1-800-428-2657; Virginia - 804-698-4269; West Virginia - 304-558-5989.

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