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District Closes Underground Storage Tank Case in Takoma

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Media Contact: Alan Heymann (202) 741-2136

Washington, DC – The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) has collected a $13,000 penalty from the developer of a residential project on Blair Road in the Takoma neighborhood. In the fall of 2007, L.G. Takoma Park L.P., uncovered a buried tank with three holes in it. After the developer’s contractor removed the tank and examined the underlying soil, it determined that the land posed no danger to the public. Construction was completed in the spring of 2008. However, the developer’s failure to follow District laws and regulations in reporting and removing the tank led DDOE to assess the penalty.

“The underground tank in this case shouldn’t give the residents and neighbors of this project anything to worry about,” said DDOE Director George Hawkins. “We were lucky the tank did not cause any contamination. But anyone who finds a buried tank must notify the District Government immediately to avoid risking the release of hazardous materials into the ground.”

DDOE cited the developer for: 

  1. Failure to notify DDOE and the DC Fire Chief of an emergency removal of an underground storage tank; (20 DCMR 5603.3); 
  2. Failure to test the soil and contents of the tank; (20 DCMR 6101.9) 
  3. Failure by the owner to notify DDOE of a suspected release (20 DCMR 6202.1); 
  4. Failure to follow a nationally recognized code of practice relating to the closure of an underground storage tanks (20 DCMR 6101.4).

The developer fully cooperated with DDOE and promptly performed additional sampling to confirm that the soil does not present a risk to human health or the environment.