Environmental Protection

Century Oil's Delay Costs $1.3 M for UST Violations

New York-based Century Oil Acquisition Corp. now must pay a $1.3 million federal court judgment after failing to clean up and comply with a 2007 EPA order assessing a $193,538 penalty and requiring the closure of underground storage tanks (USTs) at two former Texaco stations in Stroudsburg and Scotrun, Pa., according to a Jan. 27 press release.

In a 2006 complaint, EPA cited Century Oil for violations of regulations designed to avoid costly and environmentally harmful underground fuel storage leaks. An inspection of the two gas stations by EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection revealed that the company did not provide required corrosion protection and leak prevention and detection safeguards for two USTs that were not empty when the company abandoned the gas stations in the late 1990s.

In a September 2007 order, an EPA administrative law judge assessed a $193,538 penalty for these violations and ordered Century Oil to permanently close the USTs and perform any necessary environmental cleanup. Century Oil did not pay the penalty or otherwise comply with EPA’s order.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy ordered the company to pay a $1,303,131 penalty ─ including about $1.1 million in daily penalties for non-compliance with EPA’s order as well as interest on the original penalty. The judge also ordered the company to clean up any contamination from the gas stations’ tanks and to either permanently close these tanks or bring them into compliance with UST regulations.

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