Mena Short Stop, LLC (“Mena Short Stop”) on June 23 filed a request for a hearing (“application”) before the Arkansas Pollution Control & Ecology Commission (“APC&EC”) for an emergency order issued by Chief Administrator of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) on June 14. See Emergency Order (“EO”) No. DSL: 22-068.
Mena Short Stop is described as a gas station and convenience store in Mena, Arkansas.
A description of the EO’s broadcast by DEQ can be found in a previous blog post here.
The OE describes petroleum odors found in a structure about 200 feet south of the Mena Short Stop. A confirmed release from an underground storage tank (“UST”) has reportedly been identified at the Mena Short Stop.
DEQ’s Chief Administrator subsequently ordered in the OE:
- Immediate shutdown of UST system operation at Mena Short Stop
- Immediate initiation of necessary corrective actions on site for the removal of the UST system and surrounding contamination, including but not limited to the removal of all existing products from the UST system, contracting with a approved contractor with a start date and submission of a work plan demonstrating technical capability and commitment of necessary financial resources appropriate to the scope of work.
- If the PR does not comply with the order within the next 24 hours from the issuance of the order, DEQ must take immediate corrective action to protect public health, welfare and the environment by removing the system UST system and removing the oil contamination that surrounds the UST system. as quickly as possible to eliminate further fuel migration onto adjacent properties.
The Mena Short Stop request argues that further investigation into the source of the free gasoline is needed to determine if there are other leaking USTs in the area. Accordingly, he asks the CPA&EC administrative judge, Charles Moulton:
- Order DEQ and its contractor to cease and desist from further excavation of the USTs at the Mena Short Stop until a hearing is held
- Hold a hearing within 10 calendar days of the request
- Determine that the UST located on the Mena Short Stop property was not the cause or source of the gasoline contamination located off the Mena Short Stop property
- Cancel the TO issued by DEQ and allow its contractors to submit a plan for further investigation
Administrative Law Judge Moulton issued an order on June 24 that a hearing will be held beginning Thursday, June 30 to deal with the request.
A copy of the motion can be downloaded here and Administrative Judge Moulton’s order here.