News Release 581

Wink’s Food Mart referred to attorney general for underground storage tank violations

Volume 38-581 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 8, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has asked the Missouri Attorney General’s office to determine the responsible party for Underground Storage Tank Law violations at a Kewanee gas station.

The department referred the facility registered as Wink’s Food Mart to the attorney general alleging there are underground storage tanks on-site that have not been properly maintained, including installing required upgrades.

When the department refers a facility to the attorney general for underground storage tank violations, usually the owner or operator of the tanks is included in the referral. In some cases, it is not obvious who would be the tanks’ owner or operator. In these situations, the department can ask the attorney general to make the determination of who should be held responsible for the violations of Missouri’s Underground Storage Tank Law and Regulations.

The department has sent correspondence, including letters of warning, to various people affiliated with the property.

The department requested documentation showing the interior lining and corrosion protection have been inspected and tested. These records have not been submitted to the department.

Since the department has no records showing the underground storage tanks have been properly maintained for more than a year, they must be properly, permanently closed.  

A corroded underground storage tank is more likely to leak petroleum product into the environment and contaminate soil and groundwater. Underground storage tank owners must periodically inspect their tanks and make repairs as necessary. Reports from these inspections and confirmation of any repairs made must be sent to the department.

Due to the serious nature of these violations, 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 Underground Storage Tank Law exists to protect public health and the environment, 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.