(image via U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

(image via U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Soldotna company settles with EPA for $130,000

The company was accused of violating the Safe Drinking Water Act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement agreement with Soldotna-based company North Star Paving & Construction, Inc. following allegations that the company violated the Safe Drinking Water Act when it was found to have an unauthorized underground injection well on the property.

Also as part of the settlement, the company has to close the well, including removing all contaminated materials in and around the well and permanently disconnecting the floor drain to the leachfield, among other things.

The well was located at the company’s auto repair shop. The construction of new Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells (MVWDW) was banned in April 2000. Existing MVWDWs in Alaska were required to be permanently closed by January 2005 as a way of protecting groundwater and drinking water sources.

A press release from EPA Region 10, which includes Alaska, said that floor drains in vehicle shops can contaminate areas identified by the State of Alaska as drinking water source protection areas. The well at North Star, the release said, was located above a protected drinking water aquifer for a community water system in Soldotna.

Injection wells have the potential to let motor fluids contaminate groundwater sources of drinking water. According to the release, preliminary groundwater sampling done by the EPA at the property found “elevated concentrations” of chemicals from motor vehicle fluids.

More information on injection wells and the settlement with North Star Paving and Construction can be found at epa.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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