What would you do?


A hypothetical

Imagine you are the owner of a service station. After accounting for the fuel you have sold, you have less fuel in the underground storage tank (UST) than you should have.

Do you …

Increase the price of the fuel to cover the loss?
Contact a real estate agent to sell the site?

Service station operators have a duty to report a possible contamination to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) but may avoid reporting it if it means that they could incur a fine or penalty or a notice to clean up.

Fortunately, the cost of UST rectification is not as expensive as the potential claims and fines and the penalties that could arise if the owner/operator of the service station does not follow some simple rules:

  1. Record the date of the leak and the amount that has gone missing, the day it first occurs.
  2. Report the matter to the EPA and confirm action is being taken or seek guidance.
  3. Contact an environmental consultant to find out how bad the leak is and whether it has transgressed to neighbouring properties.

If the service station owner does not have insurance they may be scared to report the leak. Environmental insurance takes away the fear of reporting.