Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


A Roundup of Recent News Items in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Release Date: 03/02/2000
Contact Information:
Queens, New York

"No Tank Upgrade, No Leak Detection and No Responses to EPA Spell Trouble for St. Albans Gas Station"

EPA has charged Ilya Mikhailov and W.D. Turner, the owner and operator (respectively) of Mr. T's Service Center in St. Albans, Queens with mismanaging six underground storage tanks at the gas station. The agency is seeking a $74,270 penalty from the individuals. The gas station at 179-01 Linden Boulevard is located within the only part of New York City where residents get their drinking water from the ground, not from the city's upstate reservoirs. Leaking underground storage tanks are the nation's #1 source of groundwater contamination: a spill of one gallon of gasoline from these tanks can contaminate one million gallons of water. Two EPA inspections on March 23, 1999 and August 10, 1999 revealed that Mikhailov and Turner had not upgraded the six tanks to meet more stringent EPA standards to guard against leaks and releases, and that since at least December 22, 1993, the tanks had not been properly tested for leaks as required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. EPA is also charging that two official requests for information about the tanks sent to Mikhailov and Turner after the first inspection went totally unanswered. EPA has ordered Mikhailov and Turner to comply with federal tank regulations, provide proof of their compliance and respond to EPA's requests for information. The individuals do, however, have the right to contest the order.

Passaic County, New Jersey

"In Settlement with EPA, Hawthorne Company To Make $70,000 in Environmental Improvements Due to Innovative Agency Policy"

Pan Chemical Corporation, located at One Washington Avenue in Hawthorne, New Jersey, has settled with EPA on charges that for several years it failed to tell EPA about certain chemicals used at its facility. Pan Chemical voluntarily disclosed its violations under the agency's audit policy, which offers potentially significant penalty reductions to companies that come forward when they have violated environmental regulations. In a settlement with the agency on the charges, Pan Chemical will pay a cash penalty of $17,996, and make $70,000 in improvements to its facility that will result in a 90% reduction in the amount of certain hazardous wastes the company currently disposes of. In September 1998, the inks, coatings and finishes manufacturer told EPA it had not filed Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) forms for methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, xylene, methyl isobutyl ketone and butanol for 1995, 1996 and 1997, and that it had not filed a form for lead compounds for 1997. The forms tell EPA about certain chemicals used at a facility and whether they were released into the environment, and are required by law to provide people with information about the chemicals in their local environment. By October 1, 2000, Pan Chemical will install a solvent recovery system that will enable it to re-use 90% of the 25,000 lbs. of waste solvents it produces annually instead of disposing of them a benefit to the environment. EPA permits certain violators to undertake these kinds of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) to benefit the environment and/or local residents as an alternative to simply paying a cash penalty. The company must show EPA proof that the new system is up and running by November 1, 2000.