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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Protecting Drinking Water

Colorado River Resort Pays $55,076 Penalty for Underground Storage Tank Law Violations

Violations Observed by EPA at Lost Lake Resort

Educational Materials for UST Operation and Maintenance

Lost Lake could have avoided the fine by following federal laws and proper operation and maintenance procedures. EPA provides a manual that can explain these procedures to gas station owners and operators.

Example of a corroded leaking UST being removed from the ground (at a site other than Lost Lake). Corrosion protection is required for all steel USTs to help prevent leaks. - Larger Image

EPA and CRIT inspectors found Lost Lake Resort to be out of compliance with a number of Federal UST laws.  These laws are in place to ensure that UST facilities take measures that:

  • help prevent releases from their UST systems, and
  • detect any releases that occur from the UST systems, which can happen even when proper release prevention equipment is in place.

Lost Lake Resort has cooperated with EPA throughout the enforcement process.  The operators have also adopted better UST management practices, including:

  • regularly checking the UST system for signs of a release,
  • performing all annual tests on time,
  • improving record keeping practices.

Described below are several significant violations observed at Lost Lake Resort. These violations are periodically observed by EPA inspectors at other facilities as well.

  • No Corrosion Protection on the Facility's Steel USTs
    Steel USTs and piping are prone to holes caused by corrosion.  Product stored in the tanks (usually gasoline or diesel) can leak from these holes.  Therefore, a corrosion protection system is required for steel USTs and piping.
  • Failure to Report Suspected Release
    Inspectors found evidence of a past alarm that alerted the facility to a leak in the UST system, but to which the facility had failed to respond.  Responding as quickly as possible to suspected releases can help limit how far the petroleum will spread into the surrounding environment.
  • Failure to Perform Release Detection on Piping
    The facility did not perform the required annual piping test. Leaks from piping are a common cause of releases from UST systems.  Without a test, the facility operator would not have known the piping had a leak, and product would continue leaking out of the system.
  • Failure to Keep Release Detection Records for Tank
    Release detection records are proof that the facility is monitoring the UST system and checking whether the release prevention and detection equipment is functioning.  Monitoring the system is essential to detecting any leaks from the system in a timely manner.
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