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Time is Running Out for Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks
Release Date: 10/22/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
Recent inspections of underground storage tanks in Arkansas indicate that many owners and operators will face stiff fines for failing to meet a Dec. 22, 1998, deadline to upgrade or remove their tanks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reminds owners and operators that they can expect fines of up to $11,000 per day for each tank which does not meet the standards.
"Enforcing these regulations is not just a matter of being fair to owners who have already paid to have their underground storage tanks upgraded. Leaks and spills from these tanks are a major source of ground water contamination. Since nearly half of all Americans rely on ground water for their drinking water, leaking tanks are a serious public health problem," Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.
Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology Director Randall Mathis said, "Protection of public health and safety, as well as the environment, are the goals of this program. We are committed to making sure these regulations are enforced."
Mathis added that to help some facility operators comply, the State has some small business assistance loans available to qualified applicants. "Several such loans have already been awarded, and other applications are being processed. We are hopeful the availability of these loans will help increase the compliance rate in Arkansas."
Regulations adopted Dec. 22, 1988, require owners to install spill and overfill prevention devices and corrosion protection systems for any metal parts. Underground storage tanks installed after adoption must meet these requirements. Owners of tanks installed before adoption were allowed ten years to upgrade or remove existing tanks.
Of the 27 facilities EPA and the Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology inspected in West Memphis, Ark., and Texarkana, Ark., in early September, only four met existing standards.
Field citations were issued for violations ranging from improper record-keeping to the most prevalent problem of failing to perform adequate leak detection, a requirement since 1993. While no leaks were found, inspectors stressed the necessity of complete records to document that owners are complying with the law's requirements.
Of those inspected, 20 facilities have tanks installed before the new regulations were adopted. Of these, only 9 had been upgraded. All the owners who operate more than 12 facilities were in compliance. Only a third of the owners who operate 2 to 12 facilities were ready to meet the Dec. 22 deadline. And less than a quarter of single-facility owners had tanks which met the standard.
"These numbers are disheartening, especially considering that owners have been on notice for 10 years that tanks must comply by December 22," Cooke said.
List of facilities inspected Sept. 8-11, 1998, and penalties assessed follows:
136 RT2 BOX 1070-US 64 & I-55, MARION
T-MODEL'S PIT STOP
1752 HAYNESVILLE HWY, EL DORADO
TRIPLE J #7
HWY 71, ASHDOWN
ASHDOWN AREA HQ,
AR HWY DEPT. HWY 71, ASHDOWN
29 BYPASS & 67 N., HOPE
I-30 & HWY 29, HOPE
HWY 4 N. & FRANKLIN ST., WASHINGTON
HINES TRUCKING, INC.
407 HINES BOULEVARD, PRESCOTT
HWY 82, STAMPS
HWY 196 & 237, TEXARKANA
102 LIARS LOOP, ASHDOWN
ROBBS TIRE SERVICE
103 W. MAPLE, GURDON
BIGGERS OIL COMPANY
900 CAL STREET, CAMDEN
AIRPORT SELF SERV
2115 HWY 79 N., CAMDEN
6322 MORO BAY HWY, EL DORADO
HWY 67, GURDON
DELTA EXPRESS NO. 3005
1521 NORTH MISSOURI, WEST MEMPHIS
FLASHMARKET NO. 4
225 EAST BROADWAY, WEST MEMPHIS
FUELMART NO. 798
I-55 AND ROUTE 1, TURREL
JMART NO. 3
3955 SOUTHLAND DR., WEST MEMPHIS
CRITTENDEN COUNTY ROAD DEPT.
87 JACKSON, COURTHOUSE, MARION
FLASHMARKET NO. 10
714 INGRAM BLVD., WEST MEMPHIS
WEST MEMPHIS UTILITY PLANT
604 EAST COOPER, WEST MEMPHIS
WEST MEMPHIS CITY SHOP
511 EAST JACKSON, WEST MEMPHIS
ARKANSAS HIGHWAY DEPT.,
LEHI AREA HQ HWY 70, LEHI
906 INGRAM, WEST MEMPHIS
WEST END BP
300 WEST BROADWAY, WEST MEMPHIS
Penalty: TO BE DETERMINED
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