Government environmental group sues petroleum company for allegedly failing inspection

Catherine Melancon Oct. 5, 2012, 6:15am

BATON ROUGE – A state environmental department is suing a petrochemical company for alleged compliance violations.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Equality filed suit against Moak Petroleum Products, Inc. in the 19th Judicial Court on Aug. 10.

According to the complaint, on May 6, 2008, LDEQ personnel conducted an inspection of three underground storage tanks at Conoco, which Moak owns and operates, located on Highway 80 Ear in Tallulah, Madison Parish.

The state alleges before the inspection, the defendant failed to notify LDEQ that the underground tanks were temporarily closed for three years.

The defendant is also accused of failing to perform a site assessment on the underground tanks, which is required for closure longer than 25 months, failing to perform release detection on the tank systems in temporary closure with more than one inch of product in the tank, and failing to maintain cathodic protection on the underground tank piping system, causing the sumps to be in contact with water and/or soil.

The defendant allegedly received the compliance order on Dec. 23, 2008, and a follow-up inspection was conducted on April 13, 2010.

The LDEQ allegedly found that no actions had been taken that were required by the compliance order, the complaint states.

Moak is accused of failing to submit a completed copy of a necessary form indicating the dates the tanks were temporarily closed, failing to perform release detection or remove less than one inch of product from the tanks, failing to maintain cathodic protection to the metal components in the submersible turbine pump and failing to submit necessary written forms that include a detailed description of the cited violations and actions taken to achieve compliance with the order.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is represented by in-house attorney Jay Glomoso and Perry Theriot of the Legal Division.

The case has been assigned to Division O Judge Wilson Fields.

Case no. 614528.

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