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Gas station fined for fuel leak

GREENFIELD — A local gas station’s failure to correct underground tank problems has resulted in $10,000 in fines.

The issues were brought to light in the fall of 2012, when Greenfield firefighters found gasoline in the storm water system and a brook near the Mohawk Trail Shell station. The state Department of Environ-mental Protection responded and found that the station’s tanks were not being maintained properly.

“Violations identified included failure to ensure that the containment sumps were completely sealed to prevent release of gasoline to the environment; this failure was the direct cause of the discharge of gasoline to the brook,” said a news release from the DEP.

The violations were discovered on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2012, and station owners and operators the Helen Mackin Estate and Lipton Inc. were told that the leak and other issues needed to be fixed.

During a March 25, 2013 follow-up inspection, DEP staff found that some of the issues had not been corrected, and identified other violations as well.

The Mackin estate will pay $7,000 in fines and complete remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. Mackin is currently in compliance with DEP’s cleanup regulations, according to the release.

Lipton Inc., the Pittsfield company that operates the gas station and convenience store, will pay $3,000 and correct outstanding violations.

Though the gas station is on the road to compliance, the spill could have been avoided through routine inspection and maintenance, according to the DEP.

“While MassDEP is pleased that Lipton and Mackin have aggressively worked to clean up the gasoline that was released, vigilance could have prevented the significant release of gasoline and impacts to the brook,” said Michael Gorski, director of the DEP’s Springfield office.

Representatives of the Mackin estate and Lipton Inc. could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com, 413-772-0261, ext. 279 or @RecorderRain

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