Former La Paz County Convenience Store to Pay $80,000 for Underground Storage Tank Violations Near Colorado River

PHOENIX (June 15, 2010) – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced today that the owner of a former Parker-area convenience store has agreed to pay $80,000 in cleanup costs and penalties for underground storage tank violations near the Colorado River.

Plantation Park, Inc., which was located at 8010 Riverside Drive north of Parker in La Paz County, operated a gas station for many years within 500 feet of the Colorado River and within one mile of six private water wells.

Leaks suspected to be from the underground storage tanks at the site were reported to ADEQ as early as 1988 and a compliance order was issued to Plantation Park in 1993 for failing to submit a site characterization report. An amended consent order was issued in 1998 requiring more investigation at the site but Plantation Park remained in violation of the order.

In 2004, after Plantation Park closed its store and abandoned the site, ADEQ undertook cleanup efforts. Elevated levels of the carcinogens MTBE and benzene were found in groundwater samples at the site.

“These were serious, long-standing violations of state environmental law,” ADEQ Director Benjamin H. Grumbles said. “Maintaining safe underground storage tanks is good for business because it saves money over the long run and reduces risk to public health.”

"Owners of fuel storage tanks need to rigorously comply with state standards to protect the health of our citizens and our environment," Attorney General Terry Goddard said.

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.