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EPA to Hold Free Workshops for Tank Owners and Others on Improving Environmental Compliance in the Virgin Islands; Underground Storage Tanks – #1 Source of Groundwater Pollution – to Be Main Topic

Release Date: 05/31/2001
Contact Information:
(#01061) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), together with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), will hold two workshops to help people who own or operate underground and above ground storage tanks to better comply with environmental regulations. The all-day workshops will be held on June 5 on St. Croix and June 6 on St. Thomas. EPA invites anyone interested in attending one of the workshops to contact Mr. Cecil Williams of DPNR to sign up.  Mr. Williams can be reached at (340) 773-0565.

The workshops are designed to help people better understand the federal and local requirements for proper management of underground storage tanks (USTs), above ground storage tanks, underground injection wells and used oil, and will provide general information about protecting the Virgin Islands’ sensitive aquatic ecosystems. Ms. Claudia Gutierrez, Underground Storage Tank coordinator for EPA’s Region 2 Office, will be joined by Mr. Jim Casey, EPA Virgin Islands Coordinator, to present several topics for discussion. Mr. Hollis Griffin, Director of DPNR, will provide opening remarks and speak about developing good working relationships with regulatory agencies.

Underground storage tanks are the #1 source of groundwater contamination in the United States, with over 30,000 leaks and spills reported annually in past years. USTs range in capacity from a few hundred to thousands of gallons, and are used to store gasoline, heating oil and other fuels, waste oil and hazardous substances at gas stations, marinas, government facilities and large industrial sites. Leaks from tanks often contaminate the soil around them, and can cause unhealthy gasoline vapors to settle into the basements of private homes and apartment buildings. They can also contaminate underground aquifers, which are used as drinking water by many people. EPA and state underground storage tank regulations were put in place to prevent such releases, and, if a release does occur, to insure that it is addressed immediately.

The EPA/DPNR workshops will be held at the following locations:

St. Croix - June 5, 2001, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Almeric L. Christian Federal Building (Federal Building and Court House)
3013 Estate Golden Rock, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820

St. Thomas - June 6, 2001, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
U.S. Federal Building and Court House, First Floor Conference Room
5500 Veterans Drive, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. 00802