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U.S. EPA inspects American Samoa underground storage tanks

Release Date: 11/12/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Facilities meeting most federal requirements, but still need to obtain insurance on tanks

HONOLULU -- A recent round of underground storage tank inspections in American Samoa by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency found island tank facilities meeting most of the major federal requirements.

Regulators issued only five federal field citations to island underground storage tank facilities for minor violations, with fines totaling $1,500.

The five facilities complied with the leak detection and necessary tank upgrade regulations, but still need to meet financial assurance regulations that require them to obtain insurance for costly cleanups in the event of a petroleum release. The facilities also need to conduct the required annual maintenance on their leak detection systems.

"The inspected facilities have done a good job of meeting most all of the necessary underground tank regulations," said Norwood Scott, an EPA underground storage tank inspector for the Pacific Southwest Region. "Their next step is to obtain the necessary insurance to help cover the cost of cleaning up any contamination from potential leaks or spills. Compliance with the rules will protect American Samoa's vital groundwater resources."

A December 1998 federal deadline required regulated underground storage tanks to have spill and overfill equipment, corrosion protection, and release detection methods to prevent releases.

The EPA frequently conducts unannounced tank inspections. Owners and operators who are cited are required to correct the violations, submit documentation, and pay the settlement amount within 30 days. Failure to comply subjects them to penalties of up to $11,000 per violation per tank per day in addition to the added cleanup costs for leaking tanks.

More information on the EPA's underground storage tank program can be obtained at: