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Adirondack Energy Products fined in federal civil case

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MALONE Adirondack Energy Products, which also owns and operates Mountain Mart gas stations, was 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.

The company, as part of a deal, will pay a $46,000 fine. Additionally, they are to 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 pertaining to record-keeping of spill alerts and mandatory spill reporting.

Court documents also state that Adirondack Energy agreed within the next year to conduct “a community outreach seminar” to instruct on the federal regulations that apply to underground storage tanks.

According to a complaint filed on Feb. 24, 2011 in United States District Court, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspected Adirondack Energy Products locations in Malone and Plattsburgh on July 14, 2009. The Malone store, located on Junction Road, did not maintain adequate equipment-testing records and the Plattsburgh store, which is located over a primary aquifer on Monroe Way, did not have leak sensors on fuel pipes, the complaint states.

The second Malone Mountain Mart on Spaulding Avenue was checked twice, according to the complaint, once on May 17, 2007 and again on April 24, 2009. The 2007 exam revealed that the store was not conducting any leak-detection testing; the 2009 visit showed that the first tests weren’t conducted until July 19, 2008. The checks are required by federal law.

In August of 2010 the EPA inspected a Mountain Mart station on South Main Street in 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 (DEC), 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.

Several days earlier, on Oct. 7, 2008, the complaint states that EPA agents checked up on Mountain Mart on U.S. Route 11 in Moira, which is located over a state-protected water source. They found in addition to a lack of mandatory equipment testing, the store also did not monitor for fuel leaks.

In all the instances of inadequate record-keeping, the complaint says that Adirondack Energy officials stated they weren’t aware of the regulations.

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

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