DNREC Issues notice of $143,900 penalty to Christy Tire for failing to properly maintain and operate underground storage tanks at a gas station in Georgetown

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Dover – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara has issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty Assessment and Secretary’s Order to Christy Tire for violations of Delaware’s underground storage tank regulations. The Order includes a cash penalty of $143,900 and an additional $21,585 as cost recovery reimbursement for the department’s expenses associated with its investigation.

Christy Management LLC, Christy Tire, and Mr. Salman Choudhary (collectively, Christy Tire) are the owners and the operators of a retail gas station located at 501 East Market Street in Georgetown. The gas station has four active tanks and the owners have been operating these tanks of compliance since at least October 2007.

On May 7, 2008, the Department issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the owners of Christy Tire requiring them to submit the necessary documentation to demonstrate that they returned to compliance within 30 days. The violations include: failure to demonstrate that the tanks and lines are not leaking, failure to demonstrate that the tanks and the lines are not leaking, failure to demonstrate the tanks are not corroding in the underground piping that could potentially contaminate drinking water supplies in the local area.

Christy Tire failed to take any action to respond to the NOV. their failure to address the compliance problems causes an increased risk of contaminating groundwater and the environment with harmful petroleum chemicals. Subsequently, DNREC’s Tank Management Branch notified Christy Tire of the Department’s intentions to classify its storage tanks as ineligible to receive product deliveries in an April 23, 2009 certified letter, and on June 1, 2009, affixed red tags on the fill pipes of the underground storage tanks to prohibit the delivery of petroleum products to the facility.

The owners of Christy Tire have since moved their tire business to another location, leaving behind the out-of-compliance underground storage tanks and any possible related environmental or financial liability.

The owners of Christy Tire have 30 days to request a public hearing regarding the Order.