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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795

DEP ISSUES PENALTIES FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK VIOLATIONS IN
BERGEN, MORRIS AND PASSAIC COUNTIES

(05/75) TRENTON -- Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined eleven facilities in Bergen, Morris and Passaic counties for violating state hazardous materials storage laws. The facilities, which include commercial gas retailers, automotive repair shops and fuel providers, failed to comply with regulations pertaining to underground storage tanks.

"The enforcement actions announced today reflect DEP's steadfast commitment to protect water quality by holding tank owners accountable and ensuring they are complying with laws designed to protect our water from leaking tanks," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell.

The enforcement actions in these three counties are part of a statewide compliance inspection program to reduce the number of leaking underground storage tanks. DEP has established a group of 18 state and county inspectors to conduct compliance inspections every three years at each of the 8,000 facilities statewide 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 resulting in soil or ground water contamination.

Failure to register tanks inhibits DEP's ability to regulate underground storage, prevent pollution and reduce leaks and contamination.

BERGEN COUNTY

  • Captan Auto Repair of Lodi was fined $38,000 for violations including maintaining a disabled and inoperable overfill device. Additional violations include failing to properly register its underground storage tank (UST) system, failing to perform requisite leak detector and rust protection tests and failing to provide plans to prevent spills and respond to leaks. Overfill devices prevent USTs from overflowing while being filled.

  • Rutherford Valero of Rutherford was fined $37,750 for failing to properly insure and register USTs, failing to test the rust protection system and failing to maintain plans to prevent spills and respond to leaks.

  • DEP fined Acocella Automotive Group of North Arlington $66,000 for failing to properly register and insure its USTs and failing to provide and test leak detection equipment for USTs and product piping.

  • Prospect Transportation of Carlstadt was fined $35,000 for delivering fuel to unregistered USTs.

MORRIS COUNTY

  • AEZ, Inc. of Denville was fined $36,750 for failing to have a current UST registration and for intentionally disabling overfill protection devices on an UST.

  • First Oil of Butler was fined $30,000 for failing to register its USTs and for failing to perform release detection monitoring on product piping.

  • G & N Partnership of Roxbury was fined $45,000 for failing to perform release detection monitoring of product piping, failing to conduct testing of line leak detectors and failing to test corrosion protection equipment for steel tanks.

  • G & N Partnership of Ledgewood was fined $31,750 for failing to register its USTs and failing to provide an acceptable method of release detection monitoring for both tanks and product piping.

  • Pompton Plains Mobil in Pequannock was fined $30,000 for failing to perform release detection monitoring on both tanks and product piping.

  • R & R Bulk Transport of Randolph was fined $15,000 for delivering fuel to unregistered USTs in Roxbury Township.

PASSAIC COUNTY

  • DEP imposed penalties of $41,750 at Haskell Gulf Station in Wanaque for maintaining an inoperable overfill device, failing to maintain a release detection monitoring system and failing to test the corrosion protection equipment.

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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Last Updated: June 14, 2005