San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) has agreed to pay $525,000 as part of a settlement for falsifying reports and violating state regulations intended to prevent leaks in underground fuel storage tanks. This is the second time the taxpayer-funded MTA has been forced to pay a six-figure fine for failing to comply with underground storage tank laws.
The latest violations occurred at four of the transportation agency’s yards, state regulators said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported: “The deal announced by the Water Resources Control Board requires the MTA to develop and follow a stringent leak prevention program or face an additional $375,000 in fines, and to follow it for five years or face $450,000 in penalties. The agreement came after an investigation that started in 2012 found that the MTA did not properly monitor tanks, failed to take proper precautions to contain spills, did not perform required monthly inspections and falsified monthly reports, regulators said.”
The tanks hold various fuels and other chemicals.
In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the MTA $250,000 after workers at the John Woods Motor Coach Yard disabled an alarm system that would have notified them that at least 39,000 gallons of diesel fuel were leaking into the bay.
David Boyers, assistant chief counsel of the water board’s Office of Enforcement, said, “We hope that this settlement marks a turning point for the SFMTA to prioritize environmental compliance.” (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, July 28.)
August 13, 2015