R.E. Powell Settling Fine

Will pay $10,000 of $30,000, train employees

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A Grandview, Wash., fuel distributor, R.E. Powell Distributing, has agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a penalty incurred earlier this year for not complying with underground storage tank (UST) requirements designed to protect the environment from petroleum leaks. In addition, the company will implement an environmental safety training program for all its gas station employees.

In April 2009, the Washington Department of Ecology issued R.E. Powell a $30,000 penalty for violating environmental safety regulations associated with operating a fuel depot.

R.[image-nocss] E. Powell distributes fuel to numerous gas stations and convenience stores from the large Grandview facility where petroleum products are stored in eight registered underground tanks ranging in capacity from 2,000 to 30,000 gallons each.

In order to satisfy the remaining $20,000 portion of the penalty, R.E. Powell will create a training program for gas station and convenience store employees. The training will provide basic knowledge on how underground storage tanks operate and how to respond to emergencies such as a fuel spill or fire.

"Training the people who are responsible daily to respond quickly to emergencies, such as a fuel spill, will ultimately increase safety to the public and better protect the environment," said Ecology Department underground tank inspector Christina Zerby.

If the company fails to complete the requirements of the Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) within the guidelines of the settlement, payment of the $20,000 balance of the penalty will be immediately due to the Ecology Department.

The public will have until Aug. 24, 2009, to comment on the settlement agreement.

R.E. Powell has 30 days to pay the $10,000 penalty.

The company is a distributor of ChevronTexaco, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Tesoro fuels to more than 200 retail fuel sites in the Northwest.