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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2008

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

DEP FINES BERGEN COUNTY FIRM $290,000 FOR PERFORMING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK SERVICES WITHOUT CERTIFICATIONS

(08/13) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced that ABC Environmental Inc. based in Elmwood Park, Bergen County, has been fined $290,000 for 58 violations of state requirements for certification of firms and individuals that monitor and service underground storage tanks.

“This company repeatedly ignored the law by providing highly technical services to small retail service stations without the training certification that is required of businesses that monitor and maintain the complex pollution controls on modern fuel tanks,” Commissioner Jackson said. “To make matters worse, the company blatantly continued to send out uncertified technicians to perform this work despite a DEP directive to stop until it obtained all the necessary certifications.”

The work was performed at service stations in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Passaic counties.

The firm, doing business as Certified Tank Testing, lacked DEP certifications when it performed various services at 14 gas stations from June 2006 through April 10, 2007, according to a DEP civil penalty notice. By letter dated April 16, 2007, the DEP instructed the company to cease performing the services until it secured certifications for the business and for its individual employees.

ABC Environmental obtained DEP certification as a company for various tank-testing services on May 17, 2007. However, it continued to send employees who lacked individual certifications and were not accompanied by certified supervisors to conduct services at six service stations from May through September 2007, according to the penalty notice.

The company is entitled by law to request an administrative hearing.

Early leak detection is critical to protecting the environment, providing an early warning before fuel products can spread from faulty tanks and contaminate ground water or nearby surface waters.

The DEP maintains an underground storage tank certification program as required by the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act and Water Pollution Control Act. The program requires training certification for firms and individuals that engage in the installation, closure, subsurface evaluation, and analysis of leak-protection systems for underground storage tanks. The program also requires companies to demonstrate financial responsibility for their work, typically through liability insurance. For more information on DEP enforcement initiatives, go to: www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement

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Last Updated: February 20, 2008