JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Lafayette County gas station operator who allegedly operated a station without insurance in violation of state law.

Craig Peters, the operator of Cross Roads Country Market gas station in Alma, allegedly violated Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law by managing the store without insurance.

"Underground storage tanks can pose a serious health threat to Missourians," Koster said. "We must ensure that those responsible for maintaining them have the means to clean up any contamination that may occur."

Missouri law requires that operators and owners of underground storage tanks maintain insurance for the cost of cleaning up any contamination that may seep from the tanks. In addition, the insurance is meant to provide coverage for any contamination that the tanks may cause the public.

Koster's lawsuit requests that the court shut the Cross Roads Country Market station down until Peters brings it into compliance. In addition, the lawsuit seeks a fine against Peters of as much as $10,000 per day for each Missouri law violation.

In October, Koster filed a similar suit against a business in Gentry County that allegedly also violated the Underground Storage Tank Law. Avenue C-Stores, the owner and operator of US Oil in King City, allegedly operated the underground storage tank without financial responsibility.

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