News Release 428

Department refers St. Charles gas station to attorney general for hazardous waste violations

Volume 38-428 (For immediate release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 28, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a St. Charles gas station to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue civil penalties for violations of Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law.

The department referred Midtown 66 to the attorney general alleging there is an underground storage tank on-site that has failed an inspection of the tank’s interior lining. Since the underground storage tank failed the inspection, it must be properly, permanently closed. The department has not received any confirmation that the underground storage tank has been properly, permanently closed.

Underground storage tanks without a functional interior lining are more likely to leak petroleum product into the environment and contaminate soil and groundwater.

"Although we'd prefer to bring facilities like these back into compliance with the Underground Storage Tank Law through voluntary steps, it's important that we have -- and are willing to use -- legal options to protect both public health and the environment," said Department Director Mark N. Templeton.

Due to the serious nature of these violations and the lack of response from the facility, the department referred this matter directly to the attorney general to compel compliance and to seek an appropriate civil penalty for the violations. The Missouri Constitution requires civil penalties to be paid to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred.

Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management 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 maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used 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 to the Attorney General's Office for legal action.

For more information, contact the department's Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.