News Release 184

WOLCO Inc. referred to attorney general for Missouri Clean Water Law violations

Volume 38-184 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 1, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources referred the case against the owner of a closed gas station in St. Louis County to the Missouri Attorney General's Office alleging continued violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law.

The department referred the case against WOLCO Inc. to the attorney general alleging fuel that had leaked from underground storage tanks at a former gas station site it owned in Spanish Lake was continuing migrate off site in violation of the Missouri Clean Water. 

In November, the department conducted an inspection at a gas station formerly known as Bob's Sunoco, which is owned by WOLCO Inc. WOLCO is working to address previous issues at this station involving leaking fuel from underground storage tanks. The inspector found petroleum-contaminated water seeping from underground approximately 1,000 feet downhill from the gas station at the entrance of the Kingsgate Estates Subdivision. The subdivision is located at the corner of Kingsgate Drive and Lusher Road.

During the inspection, staff observed water seeping from the ground and a large pool of rust-colored water surrounding the entrance sign to the subdivision.  The water was flowing into a Stormwater culvert near Kingsgate Drive. Analysis of the water sample found it to be contaminated with fuel likely to have come from the gas station.

The department has referred previous cases involving the site to the attorney general, and has referred this case to be handled along with the previous referrals. 

Missouri's Clean Water Law exists to protect public and environmental health and the department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations.

The department’s enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to achieve and maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with regulatory standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance.  As part of that process, penalties may be assessed to ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred. In situations where the responsible party is unwilling or unable to cooperate to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of human health and the environment, the department will refer the case.

For more information, contact the department’s Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.