EPA Fines Military for Underground Tank Violations at West Point

The U.S. Army and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service failed to comply with critical environmental laws related to underground tanks used to store diesel fuel, gasoline, and used oil at the West Point Garrison in New York, according to a complaint issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Both military branches failed to monitor, test, and keep records for their underground petroleum storage tanks, said the agency, which is requiring the two parties to comply with regulations and is seeking a $167,116 penalty.

"Out of sight does not mean out of mind when it comes to underground petroleum storage tanks, and it is critical that facilities monitor their tanks and make sure they are not leaking," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. "Given the proximity of the West Point facility to both a source of public drinking water and the Hudson River, leaks from its underground diesel, gasoline, and used oil storage systems could have caused a serious environmental problem."

In its complaint, EPA states that the Army neglected to monitor the tanks for leaks, adequately protect against potential spills, and investigate operating conditions. EPA also says both parties failed to test leak detection devices at three tanks owned by the Army and operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The underground storage tank systems at the facility stored fuel for vehicles and emergency generators, and used oil. Several of the violations date back to the installation of the tanks and equipment, which took place 18 years ago. The Army and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service have stated that their underground storage tank systems are now in compliance.

EPA noted that leaking underground storage tanks pose significant threats to soil, surface water, and ground water across the nation. Petroleum releases from the tanks can contaminate water, making it unsafe to drink, pose fire and explosion hazards, and can have short- and long-term effects on people’s health. More than 600,000 underground storage tank systems exist nationwide, and more than 375,000 leaking tanks have been cleaned up over the last decade, the agency said.

Product Showcase

  • Glove Guard® Clip

    Safety should never be compromised, especially when it comes to proper glove usage. The Glove Guard® clip enhances safety by encouraging employees to keep their gloves with them at all times. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries on the job. By ensuring everyone has their gloves readily available, we help promote a culture of safety and efficiency. The Glove Guard® clip is designed to withstand the toughest work environments. Constructed from robust materials made in the USA, it can endure extreme conditions, including harsh weather, and rigorous activities. Read More

  • Safety Knives

    The Safety Knife Company has developed a quality range of safety knives for all industries. Designed so that fingers cannot get to the blades, these knives will safely cut through cardboard, tape, strapping, shrink or plastic wrap or a variety of other packing materials. Because these knives have no exposed blades and only cut cardboard deep, they will not only protect employees against lacerations but they will also save product. The Metal Detectable versions have revolutionary metal detectable polypropylene knife bodies specifically for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This material can be detected and rejected by typical detection machines and is X-ray visible. Read More

  • EMSL Analytical, Inc. - Air Sampling Supplies & Testing Labs

    EMSL Analytical, Inc. operates laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for Asbestos, Mold, Silica, Lead & Metals, Bacteria, Legionella, USP , Combustion By-Products, VOC’s, Radon, PCB’s, Formaldehyde, METH/Fentanyl, Identification of Dust & Unknowns. Sampling Pumps, Cassettes, Media & Supplies available. Reach us at 1-800.220.3675 Read More