New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2015 – In separate agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Monmouth and Middlesex counties in New Jersey have settled alleged violations of federal laws regarding the proper maintenance and operation of underground petroleum storage tank systems. When not properly maintained, underground storage tanks can leak petroleum and other hazardous substances, threatening soil and water quality.
“Owners of underground storage tanks have a responsibility to follow rules that prevent petroleum from polluting our environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “When these tanks are not properly maintained, people and the environment are at risk.”
Under a legal agreement with the EPA, Monmouth County will spend an estimated $275,000 to install a 20,000 gallon above-ground tank to replace three underground tanks at its reclamation center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. EPA inspections and a subsequent investigation revealed several alleged violations at the Tinton Falls site and at two other county facilities. The EPA cited Monmouth County for failing to keep adequate records of release detection for pressurized piping, and failing to conduct monthly monitoring of an underground storage tank. The County has recently come into compliance with these requirements.
Monmouth County will also pay a $3,660 penalty for past violations, a penalty that was reduced due to the money the county will expend to build the new tank.
Under a legal agreement with the EPA, Middlesex County will pay a $51,100 penalty under their agreement with the EPA. The agency’s inspections and a subsequent investigation revealed several alleged violations at the county’s four underground storage tank facilities. The EPA cited Middlesex County for: failing to keep adequate records of release detection monitoring; failing to keep adequate records of release detection for pressurized piping; and failing to perform annual tests of automatic line leak detector systems. As part of its agreement with the EPA, Middlesex County has installed electronic release detection monitoring equipment to ensure compliance at all of its underground storage tank facilities.
Earlier this year, the EPA reached an agreement with the City of Paterson to settle alleged violations involving underground storage tanks at three locations throughout the city. Under the terms of that agreement, Paterson paid an $11,480 fine and agreed to operate its underground tanks in full compliance with the law.
For more information on underground storage tanks, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/ust/.
Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and Facebook at http://facebook.com/eparegion2.