Court orders $1.3 million in penalties for storage tank leak in Tucson

William Arnett was ordered to pay the state $1.3 million for an underground storage tank leak.  

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) said recently that the Superior Court has ordered William Arnett to pay the state $1.3 million to atone for a faulty underground storage tank that leaked gasoline into Tucson's subsoil and groundwater beginning in the 1980s.

The judgement comes nearly six years after the ADEQ first opened a case against Arnett and two years after ADEQ wrapped up a year and a half long cleanup of the site at 411 N. 5th Ave. in Tucson.

“Our mission is to protect and enhance Arizona’s public health, air, water, and soil, and support environmentally responsible economic growth,” ADEQ Director Misael Cabrera said. “Each and every day, we work cooperatively with our customers to adhere to environmental requirements and best practices to prevent issues from occurring. Our next line of defense is to take proper actions, including enforcement, to address threats to our environment when they are found.”

ADEQ officials said Arnett's refusal to cooperate cost taxpayers more time and money than was needed, but that the end result has yielded a cleaner, healthier water supply.

The ruling is the first ruling by the Superior Court on an underground storage tank leak since the state adopted new environmental standards in 1997. 

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