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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Monitoring Urged on Underground Tanks

May 14, 1999

SANTA ANA — Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckus on Thursday asked county supervisors to support a major crackdown on operators of faulty underground storage tanks that officials say pose a long-term risk to ground water supplies.

County officials stressed that toxic materials leaking from the petroleum tanks do not pose an immediate threat to the public, but they said pollution eventually could seep into shallow water tables.

Under Rackauckus' proposal, the staff of his environmental crimes unit would increase from two to four prosecutors, with a similar increase in the number of investigators. The upgrades would cost $546,000.

The extra staffing would focus on enforcing a federal law that requires facilities to upgrade underground tanks and install monitoring systems to detect leaks.

Enacted in December, the law was passed in response to concerns that many older, single-walled tanks seep contaminants that threaten ground water supplies.

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