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Mountain Mart fined over lack of reports

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The corporate owner of Mountain Mart gas stations has been fined and subjected to several stipulations in a federal civil case stemming from improper testing, monitoring and record-keeping at seven north country sites, one of which had an unreported kerosene leak for almost three months.

Adirondack Energy Products will pay a $46,000 fine and must install electronic fuel release detection monitoring equipment and conduct equipment tests at Adirondack Energy and Mountain Mart locations, as well as comply with federal laws on record keeping and mandatory spill reporting. Court documents also state that Adirondack Energy agreed to conduct “a community outreach seminar” within the next year to instruct on the federal regulations that apply to underground storage tanks.

According to a complaint filed in 2011 in U.S. District Court, the Environmental Protection Agency inspected Adirondack Energy Products locations in Malone and Plattsburgh on July 14, 2009. The store on Junction Road, Malone, did not maintain adequate equipment-testing records and the Plattsburgh store, which is located above a primary aquifer on Monroe Way, did not have leak sensors on fuel pipes, the complaint states.

The Mountain Mart on Spaulding Avenue, Malone, was checked twice, according to the complaint. An exam revealed that the store was not conducting any leak-detection testing; a 2009 visit showed that the first tests weren’t conducted until July 19, 2008. The checks are required by federal law.

In August 2010, the EPA inspected the Mountain Mart station on South Main Street, Massena, and noted that a kerosene release sensor had been in “fuel alarm” state for almost three months and no report had been made to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, as required by law, according to the complaint. The document states that as of the day it was prepared, the company still had not reported the kerosene release to the DEC. Also, during an Oct. 10, 2008, inspection of the Massena store, EPA officials noted there were no records from underground fuel-release detectors, as required by law.

That same day in 2008, federal agents inspected the Canton Mountain Mart, and discovered a lack of overfill-prevention equipment and inadequate records of release-detection monitoring.

In all the instances of inadequate record-keeping, the complaint states that Adirondack Energy officials stated they were not aware of the regulations.

Bruce Monette, Adirondack energy president, was not available for comment.

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