By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO –
With Missouri budget cuts in 2005, all underground fuel storage tank inspection was contracted out to an Iowa environmental firm. The firm has been conducting inspections, but Ken Koon of the Department of Natural Resources says the EPA won't certify them.
Most of it is that they didn't look at all the same aspects of the tank system, possibly, as the Environmental Protection Agency does.
Koon says to ensure compliance the inspections need to put under the control of the DNR, and enough funding restored to supervise the private contractor.
We would have to audit them, we would have to go once in a while and do an inspection with them to make sure that they're doing everything adequate. We would have to have some sort of controls in place to make sure that what's going on is adequate to protect the state. Before this issue happened the goal was to inspect a third of all tank sites in Missouri each year. And our goal is to get back to that, and we'll be forced to, as new federal requirements will require to inspect a tank site every three years.
The executive director of the state insurance agency that hired the Iowa firm says there is no problem and Missouri has an excellent tank inspection system.