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Lost Lake Resort fined $55,076 for underground fuel tank violations

Release Date: 06/05/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244 -1815, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Lost Lake Resort near Poston, Ariz. $55,076 for underground storage tank violations that caused groundwater and soil contamination on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation.

EPA inspectors, working closely with the Colorado River Indian Tribes Environmental Protection Office, inspected the tanks and discovered faulty piping and a gasoline release into the environment. The tanks are located adjacent to the Colorado River and near two drinking water wells that serve nearby residents.

“This facility was not operating its tanks properly and this caused the release. Our main concern is to protect human health and our environment,” said Nancy Lindsay, acting waste director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “The Colorado River Indian Tribes and many other communities depend on the Colorado River and its protection is vital.”

Lost Lake Resort failed to report evidence of the leaks to the EPA and the Colorado River Indian Tribes Environmental Protection Office. The facility did not properly use the equipment required to detect and prevent pipes from leaking and contaminating soil and groundwater. In addition, Lost Lake Resort did not monitor their tanks properly or maintain suitable records, causing soil and groundwater contamination at the site. Cleanup may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lost Lake Resort confirmed the release of a significant amount of gasoline after performing two site assessments required by EPA’s regulations. The facility is now developing a cleanup plan to address the contamination. The EPA is working in partnership with the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ Environmental Protection Office to ensure that soil and groundwater are properly cleaned up at Lost Lake Resort.

The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Regular inspections of gas stations are critical in the agency’s efforts to prevent accidental releases that can threaten human health and our environment. Owners and operators who are cited are required to correct the violations, submit documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. Failure to comply may subject them to penalties of up to $11,000 per violation per tank per day in addition to added cleanup costs for leaking tanks.

Feature story with video: http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/ust/lostlake/

For soundbite and video: http://www.epa.gov/region09/press_media/LostLake/


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