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December 15, 2004

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795


(04/146) TRENTON -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that National Fuel Oil, Inc., a motor fuel wholesale and delivery business located in Newark, was fined $15,000 for delivering fuel to improperly registered underground storage tanks.

"This enforcement action should remind fuel delivery companies that they must follow laws protecting our water supply from fuel contamination," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "DEP will continue to enforce compliance with hazardous materials laws as part of our larger effort to improve water quality and public health."

In March 2004, National Fuel Oil delivered unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel to three improperly registered tanks at the Bloomfield Township Department of Public Works in Essex County. The State Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the filling of improperly registered underground storage tanks with motor fuel.

Proper tank registration enables DEP to inspect and regulate tanks, prevent pollution and reduce leaks and contamination. The Township of Bloomfield in May removed and closed the underground storage tank system.

The National Fuel Oil enforcement action is part of DEP's statewide underground storage inspection program to prevent pollution by reducing the number of leaking tanks. DEP is establishing 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 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 leaks have contaminated soil or ground water.

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.



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