(CN) – Michigan’s environmental agency wants the owner of a gas station to reimburse the state for the $388,000 it spent cleaning up gas that leaked from underground storage tanks into soil and groundwater near the Muskegon River.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environmental claims the Blarney Castle Oil Co., which ran the Ralph’s Marathon service station in Evart, Mich., from 1981 to 1995, repeatedly ignored requests to address the contamination.
The agency claims that a 1995 break in a supply line caused the pollution, which released toxic benzene, toluene and other chemical components of petroleum into the groundwater and soil.
Because the gas station lies just 550 feet uphill from the Muskegon River, this has caused surface and groundwater concentrations of toxins 190 times greater than what is allowed, the agency says.
It claims that although the tanks were removed from the property in 1997, it continued to clean up the site through 2006, spending more than $388,000 so far.
The department wants Blarney Castle to pay it back.
Represented by Michigan Assistant Attorney General John Mack in Lansing, the agency also wants the defendant to pay its legal costs, perform remediation and be subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day.