Penalty waivers

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will waive penalties for 60 days for companies that fail to register petroleum storage facilities or complete required "tightness testing" of petroleum storage tanks.

The department will notify owners of facilities believed not to be in compliance with regulations. Owners will have 60 days to complete registration and testing and pay past-due fees, to document that this has already been done, or to demonstrate that the facilities in question have been properly closed.

Owners still not in compliance after 60 days face penalties of $1,000 per unregistered facility or untested tank - penalties that may be raised or lowered depending on circumstances.

Sites with petroleum storage capacity over 1,100 gallons, including out-of-service tanks, fall under the program. Owners of unprotected underground tanks must test tightness when the tank is 10 years old, and every five years thereafter.

This policy does not affect a facility owner's obligation to clean spills or to pay civil penalties resulting from a spill.

For information, contact Ken Pokalsky at The Council or Ben Conlon at DEC (518-457-4348).

January 23, 1998