The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a settlement with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) that resolves violations of federal laws for the operation and maintenance of underground tanks that store diesel fuel at four GSA buildings in New Jersey and New York. Under the settlement, GSA will pay a civil penalty of $107,000 and ensure staff who oversee the tanks at one of the New York facilities are trained to properly manage underground storage tanks.
“If not managed properly, underground storage tanks can pose significant risks to public health and the environment,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “We expect every entity to comply with these important underground storage tank requirements, including other federal agencies.”
Approximately 544,000 underground storage tanks nationwide store petroleum or hazardous substances. The greatest potential threat from a leaking underground storage tank is contamination of groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. EPA, states, territories, and tribes work in partnership with industry to protect the environment and human health from potential releases.
The facilities where the violations occurred are the Robert A. Roe Federal Building in Paterson, New Jersey, the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, the Silvio J. Mollo Federal Building in Manhattan, and the Alfonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Violations at these facilities included failures to conduct required triennial inspections of overfill prevention equipment, ensure operations staff were properly trained and ensure staff keep records related to the management of storage tanks as required by federal law.
For more information on EPA’s work on underground storage tanks, visit https://www.epa.gov/ust.