LAWRENCE — The federal Environmental Protection Agency has fined a South Union Street gas station $27,000 after the owners allegedly failed to check their underground tanks monthly for leaks and rust.
Marilyn Hilton, a member of the family that has owned the gas station since 1932, denied the allegation. She said the station's in-ground probes monitor for leaks monthly as required, but said the station was not reporting the data in the form the EPA requires.
The station is at 101 South Union St. and now sells Global gas as well as heating oil.
“What the EPA does is harass people – I'm just saying,” Hilton said Monday. “When they started to come, we gave them monthly readings from a monitor. But apparently it wasn't exactly what they wanted. They were sent every month. We waited to see what (changes in the reports) they wanted done. They ended up fining us.”
The EPA did not allege its inspectors found leaks at any of the five tanks at the Global station when they visited in June 2013.
Hilton said all five of the tanks at the station would be replaced by next year as part of a required upgrade.
The EPA requires gas stations to check their underground tanks monthly for leaks to protect groundwater and soil. Leaking tanks also can cause gasoline vapors to settle in basements.