The State Water Resources Control Board announced Monday it has reached a $6 million settlement with Metro over alleged violations in its storage of hazardous substances in underground tanks at 16 of the transit agency’s facilities.
“This settlement demonstrates that public and private tank owners will be held equally accountable in protecting water quality through the enforcement of UST statutes and regulations,” said Yvonne West, director of the State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement. “In this case, MTA has taken great steps forward in coming into compliance, and we expect the resolution will be effective in maintaining that compliance.”
The State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement began an investigation in July 2015 under the Government Owned and/or Operated Tanks initiative after alleged violations were identified during an inspection at a facility owned and operated by Metro, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.
Some of the alleged violations by Metro included failure to maintain secondary containment; failure to monitor product piping; tampering with leak detection equipment; operating without a permit; failure to maintain primary containment; failure to maintain spill containment requirements; and failure to maintain UST monitoring systems.
Metro did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
Under the terms of the settlement, Metro will pay $2 million in civil penalties to the State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account and $67,050 for reimbursement of enforcement costs. Another $2 million will be suspended with the condition that Metro completes several enhanced compliance actions, and the remaining $2 million will also be suspended as long as Metro maintains compliance with the underground storage tank requirements specified in the judgment for a period of five years, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.
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