Bulk Petroleum to Pay Full Penalty

Bulk Petroleum Corp. will not appeal a Sept. 18 Michigan Court of Appeals ruling upholding $2.5 million in penalties against the company for failing to properly clean up leaking underground tanks at a gas station in Hartland, the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced this month.

Bulk Petroleum agreed to pay the full penalty amount, which includes a $1,090,000 administrative penalty and $1,418,900 plus interest in additional civil penalties.

The tanks leaked petroleum product during a period from 1986 through 1999 despite repeated efforts by the DEQ to compel the company to properly resolve the problem. In 1993, the DEQ, then operating as part of the Department of Natural Resources, required the company to begin the removal of petroleum, install a groundwater treatment system and provide monthly progress reports to the department along with copies of their contracts with qualified consultants. Bulk Petroleum failed to comply with these requirements or properly submit a final assessment report, state officials said.

With nearly half of Michigan's population relying on groundwater for its drinking water source, contamination from leaking underground storage tank sites remains a significant problem for the state, officials said. Michigan ranks third in the nation, behind Florida and California, for the highest number of releases from leaking tank sites yet to be cleaned up, with more than 9,000 currently known.

For more information, contact DEQ at www.michigan.gov/deq.

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