QCOSTARICA – How often do gasoline stations clean or change out their storage tanks? Not often enough, it seems. On Friday the Dirección General de Transportes y Comercialización de Combustibles (DGTCC) – the Directorate General of Transportation and Fuels Distribution, announced the temporary closure of 11 gasoline stations for not doing so.
The stations now have three months to carry out the required work, otherwise be exposed to a definitive loss of their operating permit.
The stations are:
- Bomba Unión Tica in Desamparados
- Estación de Servicio San Luis in Alajuelita
- Bomba Paraíso in Cartago
- Estación de Servicio Caribe in Tibás
- Estación de Servicio Volcán Poás in Alajuela
- Servicentro San Rafael de Ojo de Agua 1n Alajuela
- Servicentro Nuevo Arenal in San Carlos
- Servicentro El Cocal in Puntarenas
- Servicentro Los Tucanes in Buenos Aires
- Servicentro Santa Clara in San Carlos, and
- Servicentro Astúa Pirié in Cariari de Limón.
Despite the three-month time, stations that demonstrate a “significant” advance in the work can ask for an extension before risking losing their permit, according to Eduardo Bravo, director of the DGTCC.
In addition to the 11 stations temporary closed, six others have been notified, stations that although may have replaced their tanks, have not submitted the necessary documentation.
Bravo explained that existing regulations are clear, the life of a storage tank cannot exceed 20 years. In the latest findings, Bravo said some of the stations had to have changed their tanks in 2012. For the remaining months of 2015, 25 other stations will have to start the process of replacing their tanks, as they reach the 20 year mark.
The DGTCC, a division of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), is responsible to evaluate the performance and safety of gasoline stations, as well as determine whether there is any soil contamination or any other type of pollution, among other things.