Miller wins petrol tank suit, has another in the pipeline

Legal News Line Feb. 22, 2007, 10:54am

Tom Miller

DES MOINES -- The problem of environmental damage from leaking petroleum-storage tanks in Iowa is apparently never-ending. Attorney general Tom Miller today announced a $20,000 civil penalty against a company operating five underground storage tanks (USTs) at a gas station in Guthrie County. A district court also ordered the company to "monitor and remove petroleum" under state direction. Three weeks earlier Miller filed a lawsuit against a Wisconsin-based company alleging environmental damage from leaking USTs at 17 gas stations in Iowa. In the recently-settled case, Miller's Environmental Law Division originally filed suit in December 2005 alleging that Williams Oil Co. had not repaired old leaks in its five USTs. The company has since spent $97,000 in cleanup and monitoring at the site. Williams Oil Co. was first cited for cleanup of petroleum leakage by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 1995. In the suit against Bulk Petroleum Corp., Miller alleges that leaking petroleum from the company's 61 USTs in the 17 locations has caused environmental damage. Penalties of up to $5,000 per violation per day could apply. In addition to paying civil penalties and decontaminating the soil, Williams must also continue to regularly monitor petroleum levels in the soil.

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