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(1) EPA Seeks Public Comment on Underground Storage Tank Operator Training Grant Guidelines (2) Sinclair Tulsa Refining Company to Pay $5 Million and Managers Sentenced for Environmental Crimes

Release Date: 04/11/2007
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(1) EPA Seeks Public Comment on Underground Storage Tank Operator Training Grant Guidelines

(Washington, D.C. - Wednesday, April 11, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public to comment on draft grant guidelines for states for operator training on underground storage tanks. The draft guidelines establish three distinct classes of underground storage tank operators, describe how and when states will implement the guidelines, and discuss when operators must be trained. EPA will accept public comments on the draft guidelines until May 10, 2007. EPA worked with states and other partners to develop the grant guidelines and, when final, will incorporate them into grant agreements between EPA and states. In summer 2007, EPA plans to issue the final grant guidelines, which will provide states with requirements they must meet in order to comply with the operator training provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Grants provide resources to help states implement the underground storage tank program. EPA’s Web site and the April 10, 2007 Federal Register provide the public with the draft guidelines as well as details about how and where to submit comments.

Draft operator training grant guidelines: http://www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/epact_05.htm#Drafts


(2) Sinclair Tulsa Refining Company to Pay $5 Million and Managers Sentenced for Environmental Crimes

Contact: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

Sinclair Tulsa Refining Company was fined $5 million and two company managers were sentenced on April 4 for environmental crimes related to the operation of the company’s Tulsa refinery. Sinclair and the two managers, John Kapura and Harmon Connell, admitted to knowingly manipulating the refinery processes, wastewater flows, and wastewater discharges for mandatory testing required by law. The manipulated samplings were intended to influence results reported to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the Clean Water Act, industries must limit the amount of pollutants discharged into rivers, lakes, streams or other water bodies.

Sinclair was ordered to pay a $5 million criminal penalty, to make a community service payment of $500,000 to the Arkansas River Parks Authority and to be on probation for two years. Connell and Kapura were each sentenced to serve six months of home detention and three years of probation. In addition, Connell was ordered to pay a $160,000 fine and to serve 100 hours of community service; Kapura was ordered to pay an $80,000 fine and to serve 50 hours of community service.

EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Oklahoma Attorney General's Environmental Protection Unit investigated the case. The Department of Justice and the Northern District of Oklahoma United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.

Department of Justice press release: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2007/April/07_enrd_222.html
Information about wastewater management: http://www.epa.gov/owm/
Help protect our Nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: http://www.epa.gov/tips