Mo. AG files two air conservati on lawsuits

Bryan Cohen Jul. 6, 2011, 11:49am


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced two air conservation lawsuits on Tuesday against a St. Louis-based man and a Lawson, Mo.-based company and its facility manager.

The first suit names Robert Volz, who runs Universal Inspection Services, an asbestos inspection business, in St. Louis County, Mo. Missouri law requires that such businesses be certified by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Volz allegedly conducted at least one inspection without the required certification and falsely implied to customers that he had obtained the required certification. An inspection without certification is a violation of the Air Conservation Law, while Volz's alleged lie about certification is a violation of the Merchandising Practices Law.

Koster is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction that will prohibit Volz from further violations of the laws and assess a penalty of up to $10,000 for each day he violated the Air Conservation Law and a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of the Merchandising Practices Law. Kost also seeks 10 percent of the total restitution ordered be paid to the state and full restitution for customers damaged by his actions.

The second suit names Terri Mellon, a facility manager for Evans Oil & Gas, which owns a gas station in Lawson, Mo., and a bulk gasoline plant. Each facility contains two above-ground gasoline storage tanks, which are equipped with State I vapor recovery systems that are meant to prevent dangerous gas or vapor from being discharged into the atmosphere. Missouri law requires that "static leak decay tests" be performed on the systems every five years to ensure system vapor tightness. The defendants allegedly failed to conduct the required tests.

Koster has asked the court to issue permanent and preliminary injunctions prohibiting Mellon and Evans Oil & Gas from further violations of the Missouri Air Conservation Law. He is also seeking to assess a $10,000 penalty for each day the defendants violated the law.

"Missouri's Air Conservation Law was enacted to protect both citizens' health and our environment," Koster said. "And the Merchandising Practices Law is in place to protect consumers from deception. The attorney general's office will not look the other way when these violations of our laws occur."

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