News & Politics

A Leaky Tank Near You?


This week the City of New York entered into a consent decree with the federal government settling an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against the city for failing to follow federal law in monitoring and fixing potentially hazardous underground fuel tanks. The settlement calls for the city to fork over $1.3 million in fines and spend perhaps even more than that repairing or replacing a list of 51 tanks spread across the five borough.

Where are the tanks?

Documents released by the U.S. Attorney’s office don’t give exact locations for all 51, but it appears that 18 are in Queens, 10 in Manhattan, nine in the Bronx, seven in Staten Island, and five in Brooklyn. The sites include tanks that hold diesel, gasoline, waste oil, and other liquids, and they might be controlled by the departments of environmental protection, corrections, sanitation, fire, or police or the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Some include FDNY tanks at Penn Station and engine companies 4, 39, and 222; NYPD tanks at the 19th precinct, Midtown North, and a highway division HQ in the Bronx. Three are on Rikers Island.

The consent decree specifies that the city “does not admit liability to the United States” for its handling of the tanks to date, which comprise more than 100,000 gallons of capacity. But NYC does pledge to implement a centralized monitoring program for its underground storage tanks.

Archive Highlights