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Frederick County, Md. Settles Underground Storage Tank Violations

Release Date: 05/28/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (May 28, 2009) – The Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County, Maryland, has settled alleged violations of underground fuel storage tank regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

Frederick County, the owner and operator of three underground storage tanks located at the Fleet Services Department , 331 Montevue Lane, Frederick, Md., agreed to pay a $4,600 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal regulations designed to prevent, detect, and control fuel leaks from underground storage tanks, or USTs.

As part of the settlement, the county will also conduct an environmental project at a cost of $22,500: installing an automatic tank gauging monitoring program for the county’s 12,000- gallon above-ground gasoline tank located at the Law Enforcement Center, 110 Airport Drive, East Frederick, Md., and two 6,000-gallon above-ground diesel tanks located at the Transit Facility, 1040 Rocky Springs Road, Frederick, Md. The monitoring system will be connected to a dedicated computer with specialized software tracking the tank release detection alarms thereby providing more frequent and better reliable monitoring of the three above-ground tanks so that appropriate response action can be taken quickly in case of any release.

EPA cited the county for failing to maintain complete records of release detection between March and December 2007 for three underground storage tanks (#1 – 12,000 gallon tank containing petroleum, #2 – 12,000 gallon tank containing petroleum, and #3 a 12,000 gallon tank containing diesel fuel). EPA also alleged that the county failed to perform automatic line leak detector testing annually between 2004 and 2007 on tanks #1 and #2, and failed to perform required annual line tightness testing on tanks #1 and #2 between October 2006 and May 2007.

As part of the settlement, the county neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but certified its compliance with applicable UST regulations. The settlement reflects the county’s cooperation with EPA’s investigation, and good faith compliance efforts.

With millions of gallons of gasoline, oil, and other petroleum products 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 which do occur, thus minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups. For more information on EPA=s Underground Storage Tank program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/swerust1