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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Judgment Requiring Kenosha County Gas Station Owner to Pay $48,451 in Forfeitures, Fees, and Costs

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that his office has obtained a judgment against Rakhra Wisconsin EZ Go Stations Three, Inc. (Rakhra), requiring it to pay $48,451 in forfeitures, court costs, and surcharges for violations of state environmental laws that regulate the maintenance of underground storage tanks, handling or use of flammable or combustible liquids, and proper abandonment of unused tanks. The laws are designed to protect the waters of the state from harm due to contamination from such liquids. The two tanks at issue in the case are located at 3705 52nd Street in Kenosha.

 

According to the Complaint, Rakhra has not had a valid operation permit for either of the tanks located at the site since February 18, 2009. Furthermore, the tanks have been out-of-service since 2004. Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) issued State Orders to Rakhra on April 2, 2009, and May 11, 2009, requiring it either to obtain an operation permit for each tank or permanently close each tank at the site, which requires removing the tank from the ground and testing for soil contamination.

 

According to DSPS, it is important that each underground storage tank be in compliance with the State’s laws because soil contaminated with petroleum products can contaminate groundwater flowing through the ground and emit petroleum vapors that seep into nearby basements.

 

In addition to the monetary judgment, Rakhra is required either to obtain an operation permit for each tank or permanently close each tank at the site. If Rakhra fails to comply with that requirement, then DSPS or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is authorized to enter the site, contract to remove any tank not in compliance, and place a lien on the property for the cost of permanently closing the tank.

 

Assistant Attorney General Bradley J. Motl represented the State. The Judgment was signed by Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder.

 

Copies of the Summons and Complaint, Order for Default Judgment, and Default Judgment are available at the following links:

Default Judgment

Order for Default Judgment

Summons and Complaint