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EPA Settlement with Virginia Military Bases Protects Soil and Groundwater from Contamination

Release Date: 01/28/2014
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 /heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 28, 2014) -- In separate agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have settled alleged violations of underground storage tank (UST) regulations at three Virginia military bases: Fort Pickett, in Blackstone Va.; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, near Newport News, Va.; and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, in Norfolk, Va.

These settlements address alleged non-compliance with federal and state environmental safeguards designed to prevent, detect, and control leaks of petroleum and other hazardous substances from underground fuel tanks.

The U.S. Army paid a $41,427 penalty for allegedly failing to conduct required annual fuel line leak detectors for 13 USTs at Fort Pickett. An October 2012 EPA inspection revealed that leak detection inspections were not conducted for seven diesel fuel tanks, ranging in capacity from 8,000 to 20,000 gallons; five tanks storing jet fuel, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 gallons; and one 10,000-gallon gasoline tank.

The U.S. Air Force paid a $12,709 penalty to resolve alleged UST violations at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. An EPA inspection on August 2012 revealed a failure to conduct required annual testing of line leak detectors for six 10,000-gallon gasoline tanks, one 15,000-gallon tank storing jet fuel, and two 6,000-gallon tanks storing gasoline and diesel.

The U.S. Navy paid an $8,498 penalty for allegedly failing to comply with required corrosion prevention safeguards for steel USTs at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. Based on a September 2012 inspection by EPA, and follow up information requests, EPA cited the Navy for insufficient corrosion protection on two 15,000-gallon diesel fuel and jet fuel USTs.

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.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force cooperated with EPA in correcting the alleged non-compliance and resolving these separate matters.

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

For more information on cathodic protection for underground storage tanks, go to: See http://www.epa.gov/oust/ustsystm/cathodic.htm.