In order to prevent oil leaks and spills in Vernon, California, storage facilities will soon pay fees to fund inspections of their above-ground petroleum tanks as part of regulation.
Vernon has 26 facilities that must comply with state and federal requirements for keeping large oil tanks on their facilities.
The new fees will fund inspections done at least every 18 months.
Exxon-Mobils distribution centre is the largest above-ground petroleum storage site in Vernon storing 10-100 million gallons of petroleum. Sixteen other facilities in Vernon store between 1,320 gallons to 10,000 gallons, and another five store between 10,000 and 100,000 gallons. Two facilities store within the 100,000 and 1 million gallon range, and another two store within the one million to 10 million gallon range.
Vernon had been using California EPA funds to inspect and regulate storage tanks that hold more than 1,320 gallons of petroleum during the first two years of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act, a state-mandated pollution prevention programme.
In mid-July, Vernon will begin charging operators of these facilities between $200 and $6,400 (242-7,756), depending on how much petroleum is stored, for those services.