JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he has filed suit against Zill LLC, seeking to compel the company to implement its emergency response plan following an underground petroleum release from Zill’s Kansas City, Mo., gas station. Zill owns and operates the Inner City Oil Co. Inc. station.
According to the suit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) issued a Declaration of Hazardous Substance Emergency to Zill on Jan. 30, 2015, after petroleum was observed entering a sewer main, causing problems for neighbors. Residents also noted a strong odor of gasoline in their homes.
MDNR provided the company with specific remedial actions it was required to take in response.
On Feb. 20, 2015, Zill submitted a work plan designed to address the release. MDNR approved this work plan in March.
After that, however, Zill has refused to follow provisions in the approved work plan, forcing MDNR to take steps on its own to protect affected residents. MDNR conducted air testing and replaced the sewer lines that were allowing vapor fumes to enter several of the houses in the neighborhood. As a result of that work, indoor air monitoring in those homes has verified that gasoline odors have been eliminated, allowing residents to return to their homes. MDNR is continuing to conduct regular testing to assure that contaminants remain below levels of concern, and emergency-response crews remain available if gasoline vapors resurface.
Koster’s suit demands that Zill take full responsibility for the hazardous-substance emergency. The suit asks the court to order Zill to finish cleaning up the contamination and to take any additional actions needed to protect residents in the area. The suit also seeks to recover costs incurred by the state.
“Leaks from gasoline storage tanks pose a serious threat to the environment and to the people who live nearby,” Koster said. “This company should be held accountable for the damage done and the expense to the state for its emergency remedial action.”