Jan 29, 2014

EPA Settlement Protects Soil, Groundwater in Virginia

EPA settled violations of underground storage tank regulations at three Virginia military bases

U.S. Navy Army Air Force EPA Underground Storage Take Regulations Settlement

In separate agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have settled alleged violations of underground storage tank (UST) regulations at three Virginia military bases: Fort Pickett, in Blackstone; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, near Newport News; and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, in Norfolk.

These settlements address alleged non-compliance with federal and state environmental safeguards designed to prevent, detect and control leaks of petroleum and other hazardous substances from underground fuel tanks.

The Army paid a $41,427 penalty for allegedly failing to conduct required annual fuel line leak detector inspection for 13 USTs at Fort Pickett. An October 2012 EPA inspection revealed that leak detection inspections were not conducted for seven diesel fuel tanks, ranging in capacity from 8,000 to 20,000 gal; five tanks storing jet fuel, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 gal; and one 10,000-gal gasoline tank.

The Air Force paid a $12,709 penalty to resolve alleged UST violations at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. An EPA inspection on August 2012 revealed a failure to conduct required annual testing of line leak detectors for six 10,000-gal gasoline tanks, one 15,000-gal tank storing jet fuel and two 6,000-gal tanks storing gasoline and diesel.

The Navy paid an $8,498 penalty for allegedly failing to comply with required corrosion prevention safeguards for steel USTs at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. Based on a September 2012 inspection by EPA and follow-up information requests, EPA cited the Navy for insufficient corrosion protection on two 15,000-gal diesel fuel and jet fuel USTs.

With millions of gallons of petroleum products and hazardous substances stored in USTs throughout the U.S., leaking tanks are a major source of soil and groundwater contamination. EPA and state UST regulations are designed to reduce the risk of underground leaks and promptly detect and properly address leaks, thus minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups.

The Army, Navy and Air Force cooperated with EPA in correcting the alleged non-compliance and resolving these separate matters.