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EPA and City of Parkersburg Settle Environmental Violations

Release Date: 09/12/2007
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith smith.bonnie@epa.gov 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 12, 2007) Residents in the city of Parkersburg will get the chance to properly discard used motor oil, old tires, anti-freeze and other items regarded as household hazardous waste, thanks to an agreement between the city and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Parkersburg has agreed to hold a special collection of household hazardous waste and pay a $7,083 penalty to settle alleged violations related to underground storage tanks at the city’s public works service center, 2507 Camden Ave. EPA alleges the city failed to perform tests from May 2001 through March 2005 that were necessary to detect possible releases of petroleum from three underground storage tanks at the service center. The city has since removed the storage tanks.

“The city’s collection event will be beneficial for us all since the community will be able to safely dispose of things they can’t include in the normal curb-side trash pickup, and we’ll be preventing other possible problems such as old tires that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

Under the agreement, Parkersburg must spend at least $16,000 for the collection project and hold the event before June 2008. Other materials to be collected include propane tanks and computer components. The city plans to increase community awareness about the proper disposal of household hazardous waste.

With millions of gallons of gasoline, oil, and other petroleum products stored in underground storage tanks (USTs) nationwide, leaking tanks are a major source of soil and groundwater contamination. EPA and state UST regulations are designed to reduce the risk of underground leaks and to promptly detect and properly address leaks which do occur, minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups. For more information on EPA’s underground storage tank program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/swerust1/

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