Underground Tank Owner Fined

From United Press International

The first person to be prosecuted under Los Angeles’ underground tank ordinance was fined $13,700 Wednesday for installing a 5,000-gallon gasoline tank in a residential neighborhood.

Los Angeles Municipal Commissioner Barry D. Kohn ordered contractor Ralph Conlon, 58, of Sun Valley to pay $5,000 in fines, $1,700 in restitution to the Los Angeles Fire Department to cover its costs in the case and $7,000 in cleanup costs.

Conlon, who pleaded no contest last December to five violations of the ordinance regulating underground tanks, also was placed on two years informal probation.

Installed in ’87


Conlon in 1987 installed a 5,000-gallon gasoline tank underneath his Sun Valley concrete demolition business, Eagle Concrete Co., without obtaining necessary permits from the Fire Department as required by the ordinance.

City Atty. James K. Hahn called the tank a “time bomb that would have gone unnoticed if a neighbor had not complained to the Fire Department.”

Conlon later drained and removed the tank, Hahn said.

The ordinance under which Conlon was prosecuted was enacted in 1983 and requires storage tanks to meet safety standards to guard against earthquake damage and ground-water contamination.