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EPA Issues Penalties Against Barksdale Air Force Base

Release Date: 11/13/2000
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

    In resolution of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Air Force has agreed to pay a penalty of $38,340 and has corrected all alleged violations of underground storage tank (UST) regulations at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La.

     "Just one gallon of gasoline can ruin five million gallons of drinking water. Leaks from underground tanks are the leading cause of groundwater contamination. Sometimes, hefty penalties are required to remind owners and operators in both the private and government sectors how important compliance with our laws is," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     The alleged violations were found during routine UST compliance inspections in 1997. The alleged violations were for failure to conduct release detection in accordance with the federal and state UST regulations.  Standards require that all UST systems be monitored at least monthly in accordance to specific regulatory procedures.  

     Although no leaks were detected during these inspections, these alleged violations provide a variety of opportunities for leaks to occur and for leaks to go unnoticed, creating a threat to public health. For example, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), an additive in gasoline to reduce air pollution, has been detected in drinking water supplies in some parts of the country.

     New underground storage tank standards took effect Dec. 22, 1998. They require tanks be equipped with spill and overfill prevention, and corrosion protection systems. Owners and operators were given 10 years to upgrade or empty and close existing tanks after these standards were adopted in 1988.


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