Par Mar Oil Co. has agreed to pay a $30,855 penalty to settle alleged violations of underground storage tank (UST) regulations at two facilities in Huntington, W.Va.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited the company for not complying with safeguards designed to prevent, detect and control leaks of petroleum and other hazardous substances from USTs. Specifically, the EPA alleged that the company did not comply with cathodic protection requirements, which are designed to prevent corrosion of steel UST systems. Federal and state regulations require cathodic protection testing every three years, and that cathodic protection be continuously maintained.
The alleged violations were at two facilities in Huntington, which have a total of nine USTs used to store gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. The company allegedly failed to perform required cathodic protection testing at these facilities for four to five years, failed to timely repair cathodic protection for a tank at one facility for a year and did not repair it for flexible piping at the other facility for about three months. The EPA cited the company after an inspection and a subsequent request for information.
With millions of gallons of petroleum products and hazardous substances stored in USTs throughout the United States, leaking tanks are a major source of soil and groundwater contamination. The EPA and state UST regulations are designed to reduce the risk of underground leaks and to promptly detect and properly address leaks thus minimizing environmental harm and avoiding the costs of major cleanups.
As part of the settlement, the company did not admit liability for the alleged violation. The settlement penalty reflects the company’s cooperation with the EPA in correcting the alleged non-compliance and resolving this matter.