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Attorney General's News Release

January 27, 2011

Attorney General Koster sues Southeast Missouri gas stations for underground storage tank violations

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today filed suit against Flash Market of Arkansas, Inc., for violations of Missouri’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Law.

Koster said Flash Market owns and operates a gas station in Clarkton and one in Steele, in Southeast Missouri. He said Missouri law requires owners and operators of petroleum USTs to have a financial responsibility mechanism in place – most often UST insurance – to ensure that financial resources are available to pay for any corrective action should an accident occur. The stations have operated without financial responsibility for the past two years. In addition, Flash Market has failed to install proper equipment to prevent spills, has failed to maintain release detection records, and has failed to test automatic line leak detectors on pressurized piping at the facilities, all in violation of Missouri law.

Koster said he filed the lawsuit after Flash Market failed to respond to correspondence or phone calls from his office. He is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction ordering the defendants to comply with the Missouri UST Law; to pay a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for each violation of the law; and to pay all costs and fees associated with the lawsuit.

“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.”

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