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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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December 7, 2004

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795


(04/138) TRENTON -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that Power Gas, a commercial gasoline station located in North Bergen, Hudson County, was fined $60,000 for improper storage of hazardous materials.

"DEP will hold accountable those who jeopardize our water quality and public health by ignoring laws that protect water resources from leaking underground storage tanks," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "A single gallon of gasoline can impair one million gallons of drinking water in our aquifers."

During a routine inspection of Power Gas on May 11, DEP staff detected contaminated soil through the use of a probing device. DEP issued a notice of violation that required the facility to investigate the source of the contamination, which Power Gas failed to do. In addition, Power Gas violated state laws that require it to report information regarding hazardous substance leaks.

Power Gas must pay a $60,000 fine and submit to DEP reports documenting its investigation of the contamination source, testing of leak detection equipment and development of a leak response plan. DEP will oversee the remediation of contaminated soil according to the site investigation report.

DEP's North Bergen enforcement action is part of a statewide underground storage tank compliance inspection program to prevent pollution by reducing the number of leaking tanks. DEP established a group of 18 state and county inspectors to conduct compliance inspections every three years at each of the state's 8,000 facilities that contain regulated underground storage tanks.

Owners and operators of underground storage tanks also must register their tank systems with DEP on a three-year cycle. Testing and cleanup work is underway by responsible parties at more than 4,000 sites statewide where underground storage tanks have leaked and contaminated soil or groundwater.

DEP provides compliance assistance to owners and operators of facilities with underground storage tank systems. State and federal laws require all owners and operators to maintain leak detection, corrosion and overfill prevention and other measures to prevent tank leaks. DEP also will track all inspections and enforcement actions taken when responsible parties fail to comply with relevant laws.



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