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EPA settles for $130K with Alaska company over disposal well

March 22, 2021 GMT

KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $130,000 settlement with an Alaska construction company after allegations that the firm violated the Safe Drinking Water Act by having a disposal well.

The Soldotna-based North Star Paving & Construction Inc. is accused of having had an unauthorized underground injection well on its property, the Peninsula Clarion reported Saturday.

A message left Monday morning seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned to The Associated Press.

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As part of the settlement, the company is required to close the well and remove all contaminated materials in and around the well.

The well was allegedly located at the company’s auto repair shop. The construction of new Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells was banned in 2000, the newspaper reported.

Existing disposal wells of that type in the state were required to be permanently closed by 2005 to protect groundwater and drinking water sources.

Floor drains in vehicle shops can contaminate areas identified by the state of Alaska as drinking water sources, a statement by the EPA’s Region 10 said.

The statement said that the well at North Star was located above a protected drinking water aquifer for a community water system in Soldotna.

The EPA statement added that preliminary groundwater sampling done by the organization at the property found “elevated concentrations” of chemicals from motor vehicle fluids.