News Releases from Region 02
Improved Leak Detection Technology and Centralized Monitoring to be Deployed at 23 Albany, N.Y. Area Gas Stations
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the owners of the underground storage tanks at 23 gas stations in the Albany, New York area, and at two gas stations in Connecticut and one gas station in New Hampshire, to improve detection and monitoring of leaks from underground tanks that store petroleum products. Falcon Petroleum, LLC, and its affiliated companies, RGLL, Inc. and GRJH, Inc., are expected to spend more than $200,000 to upgrade leak detection equipment at seven of their gas stations in New York and more than $225,000 on a comprehensive centralized monitoring program that will improve the collection and management of, among other things, the leak detection data collected throughout their network of gas stations. When not properly maintained, underground storage tanks have the potential to contaminate soil, surface water and groundwater. Falcon and its affiliated companies will also pay a $60,000 civil penalty under the agreement.
“Gas station owners have a responsibility to regularly monitor their underground storage tanks to protect against potential leaks,” said Acting EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “Leaking tanks can contaminate groundwater, which is one of our most precious natural resources. This agreement includes an innovative centralized monitoring program, which will protect the environment by helping to ensure that the companies’ underground tanks at all 23 gas stations in New York are monitored on a continuous basis.”
This settlement resolves the claims identified in the United States’ complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in December 2016, which alleged that at eight gas stations in the Albany area, the companies had failed to comply in the past with important requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the law governing underground storage tanks. The agreement requires that these gas stations, located in Ballston Lake, Cropseyville, Hoosick, Hudson, Queensbury, Troy and Valatie, New York, fully comply with these regulations.
Under the agreement, Falcon and its affiliated companies have also agreed to connect the tanks at their 23 gas stations in New York, two gas stations in Connecticut and one gas station in New Hampshire, to a centralized monitoring system. This system will assist in identifying leaking tanks and pipes by collecting all leak detection data and electronically transmitting it to a central monitoring location. This will allow the accelerated detection and correction of any leaks. Under the agreement, the companies will operate and maintain the centralized monitoring equipment for all the underground storage tanks covered in the agreement for a minimum of five years. The centralized monitoring component of this agreement is consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Next Generation enforcement efforts, which focus on increasing compliance with environmental regulations by integrating the use of advanced technologies, such as pollution detection systems and information technologies, with traditional compliance measures.
The settlement, which is subject to a 30-day public comment period, is conditioned upon approval by the United States District Court before becoming final. Comments on the proposed settlement must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice no later than May 30, 2017. The Complaint, Proposed Consent Decree and Federal Register Notice, which contains information on how to submit comments, can be viewed at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/us-v-falcon-petroleum-llc-et-al.
For more information on underground storage tanks, visit: http://epa.gov/oust