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Federal Environmental Regulators Crack Down on UST Compliance

SEATTLE — Nine gas stations in three states have settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding compliance with underground storage tank (UST) laws.

According to the Seattle pi news blog, the stations are in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. These locations faced repeated UST violations and hence some were blocked from receiving fuel shipments. 

Under federal law, sites that store gas or hazardous liquids underground must install and maintain leak detector systems and perform tests. Leaking USTs can contaminate groundwater and cause other health and environmental risks, according to the EPA.

“Underground fuel tank owners and operators must be knowledgeable and safely operate their systems to prevent harmful releases,” Peter Contreras, manager of EPA’s Groundwater Unit in Seattle, told the news outlet. “Repeat violators will face stiffer penalties and may be blocked from receiving fuel shipments.”

The nine gas stations to reach a settlement with the EPA are: Shell in Hoquiam, Wash.; Chevron in Mill Creek, Wash.; Holiday Alaska No. 631 and Holiday Alaska No. 637 in Anchorage, Alaska; Tesoro in Palmer, Alaska; Tesoro in Girdwood, Alaska; 76 X-Press in Tigard, Ore.; K & J Petroleum in Portland, Ore.; and TJ’s Gas Station in Sheridan, Ore.

As part of the agreement, all but one gas station has agreed to correct the problems, improve its management of underground tanks, and come into compliance with federal rules. Shell in Hoquiam is prohibited from receiving fuel delivery until it is in full compliance, reported the news source.

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