The Florida Department of Environmental (FDEP), has issued a fine to the Town of Century because it failed to comply with Florida statutes and code regarding fuel storage tanks.
Two above-ground petroleum storage containers were damaged in a February 2021 inspection at the town shop located on Alger Road. The department also found that the town had failed to perform annual operability testing on the devices. The first tank contained 2,000 gallons unleaded gasoline and the second contained 2,000 vehicles diesel fuel.
The inspection was performed by the Florida Department of Health, Escambia County. FDEP then sent a 15-day response to the town, explaining the findings. According to state documents the town did nothing and was referred to FDEP for formal enforcement.
According to a FDEP October 13, 2021 letter, actions were taken in order to bring the tanks in compliance. However, the department proposed $3,000 civil penalties and $250 for costs and expenses. Payment must be made in full by November 5, 2020.
In January 2022, FDEP decreased the proposed civil penalties to $750 and $250 for costs or expenses.
“The Respondent (Town of Century) requested a reduction in the penalty based on good communication with the Department (FDEP), urgency resolving the violations after discovery, and the low-income status of the municipality which owns and operates the facility. The facility has also implemented a system of calendar alerts for annual and periodic regulation requirements to prevent the violations from occurring again,” according to a FDEP letter to the town.
The Town Council accepted the $1,000 payment after being told that the fine was due a lack in communication. The full payment must be made by February 8.
On January 20, NorthEscambia.com made a public records request to the town for “the documentation referenced in the discussion Tuesday night (during a council meeting) about a state fine regarding a town fuel tank, including the settlement agreement and notice(s)”. The public records had not been received as of this story’s publication the morning of January 27. NorthEscambia.com opted to obtain documents from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in order to complete this story.
Pictured top: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection fined the Town of Century because of faulty leak detection gauges located on fuel storage tanks at the town shop. According to FDEP the photos below show the damaged gauges on both fuel tanks. Photos courtesy FDEP for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
Written by William Reynolds · Filed Under TOP STORIES