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Saranac Lake, N.Y. Gas Station Owner to Install New Equipment to Ensure Underground Petroleum Tanks Are Not Leaking Into Groundwater

Release Date: 08/11/2010
Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667,

(New York, N.Y.) The owner of four gas stations around Saranac Lake, N.Y. will spend $60,000 to improve how its gas stations detect leaks from their underground petroleum storage tank systems, and will assist another gas station and a hotel to do the same as the result of an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. will also pay a $16,000 fine under the agreement, which addresses the company’s failure to properly test the leak detection equipment of underground petroleum storage tank systems for leaks at five gas stations in Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Indian Lake, and a hotel in Lake Clear. Leaking underground storage tanks pose significant threats to soil, surface water and ground water.

“Out of sight does not mean out of mind when it comes to underground storage tanks, which is why it is critical that facilities monitor their tanks and make sure they are not leaking,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “The Adirondack Park is an environmentally-sensitive area of the state that is teeming with clean water, which could easily be impacted by leaking tanks.”

The leak detection system upgrade is considered a supplemental environmental project under the agreement. A supplemental environmental project is an environmentally-beneficial project that a violator agrees to undertake in settlement; it must be a project that a violator will not otherwise be required to perform. P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. is replacing conventional leak detection devices with more technologically-advanced electronic leak detection devices at the company’s four area gas stations as well as another gasoline station owned by another company and a hotel in Lake Clear, Charlie’s Wilderness Inn, that the company used to own.

Routine EPA inspections of P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. gas stations and the hotel showed that from 2007 to 2009, P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. violated the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act annual requirements for testing automatic line leak detectors at its gas stations in Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Tupper Lake. P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. also failed to install an automatic line leak detector and an overfill device at the one gasoline tank at a hotel it then owned in Lake Clear. P.J. Hyde & Son, Inc. is now in compliance with the requirements.

Petroleum releases from underground storage tanks can contaminate water, making it unsafe to drink, pose fire and explosion hazards, and can have short and long-term effects on people’s health. More than 600,000 underground storage tank systems exist nationwide, and more than 375,000 leaking tanks have been cleaned up over the last decade because of strict environmental oversight.

For more information on underground storage tanks, visit

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