News Release 429

Department refers service station to attorney general for hazardous waste violations

Volume 38-429 (For immediate release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 28, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has referred the case against a former Kansas City gasoline service station to the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue civil penalties for violations of Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management Law.

The department referred the facility registered with the department as Mike’s Conoco Incorporated, 8909 Wornall Road, to the attorney general alleging there are underground storage tanks on the site that are out of compliance with state regulations.

"Enforcing Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management Law directly relates to protecting public health and the environment," said Department Director Mark N. Templeton. "We try to work with businesses first to address the problem, but if they fail to take responsibility, we must pursue legal action."

Even though the facility no longer sells gasoline, there are four steel underground storage tanks that must be properly, permanently closed. Tanks not being used may still contain petroleum product and if not properly, permanently closed, the product has the potential to leak out and contaminate soil and groundwater.

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 public 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.