NEW YORK — The owners of nine gas stations in New York State’s North Country will spend a minimum of $112,000 to improve how their gas stations detect leaks as the result of an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a press release.

Adirondack Energy Products Inc. and its affiliated companies will also pay a $46,000 fine under the agreement, which addresses their failure to comply with federal laws regarding the proper maintenance and operation of underground petroleum storage tank systems.

When not properly maintained, underground storage tanks can pose threats to soil, surface water and groundwater, noted the release.

"Gas station owners have a responsibility to regularly monitor their underground storage tanks to protect against potential leaks of petroleum," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Leaking tanks can contaminate ground water, putting people and the environment at risk."

EPA inspections of the companies’ tanks revealed that they had failed to comply with important requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the law governing underground storage tanks.

In addition to paying penalties, the agreement requires all facilities owned by Adirondack Energy Products Inc. and its affiliated companies to come into full compliance with the regulations.

Read the entire press release here.