Koster suing gas station

Keith Loria Jan. 27, 2011, 2:18am


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against a gas station that allegedly violated Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law.

Flash Market of Arkansas Inc., which owns and operates gas stations in the Southeast Missouri towns of Clarkton and Steele, are alleged to have operated without financial responsibility for the past two years.

Under Missouri law, owners and operators of petroleum USTs are required to have a financial responsibility mechanism in place. These most often take the form of UST insurance, Koster says. The financial mechanism ensures that resources are available should corrective action be needed after an accident.

Flash Market is alleged to have failed to install proper equipment to prevent spills and failed failed to maintain release detection records. Additionally, Koster alleges, Flash Market did not test automatic line leak detectors on pressurized piping at its facilities. All of the alleged failures are violations of Missouri law.

"Underground storage tanks that are not in compliance with the law can pose a serious health threat to Missourians," Koster said. "This legal action is necessary because the defendant failed to voluntarily comply with the law even though given the opportunity to do so."

Koster said that the lawsuit was filed following Flash Market's failure to respond to correspondence or phone calls from the attorney general's office.

Koster is seeking a permanent injunction from the court ordering Flash Market to comply with Missouri UST law, civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day for each violation of the law, and all costs and fees associated with the lawsuit.

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