Bryan Cohen Feb. 7, 2013, 9:37pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a settlement on Wednesday with a St. Louis area gas station owner to resolve allegations of violating the state's Underground Storage Tank Law.

Ken Bhakta is the owner of Quick Mart, a gas station located at 9725 Lackland in Overland. The settlement resolves a lawsuit Koster filed against Bhakta to ensure that the business owner would secure insurance for his station's underground storage tanks.

"I intend to vigorously enforce Missouri's underground storage tank laws," Koster said. "Underground storage tank laws protect all Missouri citizens by removing substandard storage tanks that pose an increased risk of leaking and contaminating soil and groundwater, and requiring that active tanks remain properly insured."

Under the terms of the settlement, Bhakta agreed to get insurance to cover damage for any leaks from his storage tanks. Bhakta also agreed to comply in the future with Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law.

Bhakta was fined $7,000, with a $5,000 portion of the penalty suspended on the condition that he stay in compliance with the agreement for at least five years.

"Underground storage tanks that are not in compliance with the law can pose a serious health threat," Koster said.

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