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West Virginia Department of Transportation Settles Alleged Violations of Underground Storage Tank Regulations

Release Date: 03/21/2013
Contact Information: Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (March 21, 2013) -- The West Virginia Department of Transportation (W.Va. DOT) has agreed to pay a $30,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of underground storage tank (USTs) regulations at 10 facilities operated by the department’s Division of Highways, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. As part of the settlement, W.Va. DOT has also agreed to statewide improvements of its UST monitoring procedures.

With millions of gallons of petroleum products and hazardous substances stored in USTs throughout the U.S., 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 thus minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups.

EPA cited W.Va. DOT for not complying with federal and state safeguards designed to prevent, detect, and control leaks of petroleum and other hazardous substances from underground tanks. EPA alleged that the W.Va. DOT failed to perform and/or document required release detection activities at a total of 17 USTs used to store diesel fuel and used oil at Division of Highway facilities. These facilities are located in the following W.Va. municipalities: Barbourville, Berkeley Springs, Buckhannon, Forest Hill, Gassaway, Harrisville, New Creek, Peterson, Wilkinson, and Williamson.

In addition to the $30,000 penalty, W.Va. DOT has agreed to improve release detection procedures at 43 underground fuel tank facilities statewide by upgrading to a more sophisticated monitoring system which complies with regulatory requirements.

The settlement penalty reflects the W.Va. DOT’s cooperation with EPA in correcting the alleged non-compliance and resolving this matter.

For more information on underground storage tanks, go to: http://www.epa.gov/oust/index.htm.