For Immediate Release
April 30, 2012
Peter C.L. Roth, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Environmental Protection Bureau
New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Tom Burack, announce that the Coos County Superior Court awarded penalties against Munce's Superior Petroleum and Harold Munce of Gorham in the amount of $192,000 for Munce's failure to close their above ground oil storage tank facilities in Gorham in compliance with a Court order.
In August 2010, Munce's agreed to a preliminary injunction which required them to bring the oil storage tank facilities into compliance with state laws requiring the installation of containment walls designed to protect the Androscoggin River from oil pollution in the event of a breach of the tank or leak from pipes or valves. Munce's did not comply with this agreed order, so in January 2011 the State moved for contempt. Munce's filed for bankruptcy in March 2011, temporarily halting the legal action in the Superior Court. In September 2011, however, the Superior Court ordered Munce's to close all the tanks within 10 days or face penalties of $1,000 per day. Munce's did not comply with this order either, so in February 2012 the State sought an assessment of the penalties. After a hearing the court found that Munce's claims about the tanks were "not credible" and awarded the State penalties against Munce's for each day from October 4, 2011, through April 12, 2012, totaling 192 days. The State was also awarded its attorneys fees and costs.
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