City, 2 businesses reach clean water settlements with EPA

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska The city of Delta Junction and two businesses will pay penalties for operating injection wells that could have leached contaminants into drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.

Class V injection wells provide for the injection of fluids into the ground, according to the EPA. Low-tech versions rely on gravity for drainage. Examples include gas stations or car washes where service floor drains direct fluids to a septic system.

However, injection wells can allow contaminated fluids to move into underground sources of drinking water, the EPA said. Motor vehicle waste disposal wells were banned in Alaska in 2005.

The city of Delta Junction had operated three automotive repairs shops with injection wells. The city agreed to close their injection wells and pay a $22,000 penalty.

A Delta Junction business, Airport Equipment Rentals, Inc., agreed to permanently close an injection well and pay a $57,100 penalty.

A Kenai business, Commercial Auto, agreed to close its injection well and pay a $17,500 penalty.

The EPA reached the consent agreements in September. The EPA administers the Underground Injection Control program because the state of Alaska does not have an approved program.