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Court decides in favor of EPA in Clean Water Act storm water decision

Release Date: 08/15/2007
Contact Information: David Janik, 303-312-6917, Diane Sipe, 303-312-6391,

$35,640 penalty to be paid by Service Oil of North Dakota

(Denver, Colo., Aug. 15, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 announced today that a federal environmental administrative law judge has ruled for EPA in a clean water enforcement case against the Service Oil, Inc., a gasoline and diesel fuel retailer headquartered in West Fargo, N.D.

In an initial decision, Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan L. Biro ordered the company to pay a civil penalty of $35,640. EPA had sought a penalty of $40,000. Service Oil has 30 days from Aug. 3, 2007 to appeal.

Judge Biro found that Service Oil failed to acquire an applicable discharge permit for construction activities and discharged pollutants without a permit, both in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

“Region 8 resolves most of its enforcement actions through negotiation," said Michael Risner, Acting Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator for EPA's Denver headquarters. "When necessary, we will pursue a formal hearing to ensure that enterprises are meeting their environmental responsibilities. We hope that the judge’s decision will encourage other companies to comply with the law.”

David Janik, Region 8 Supervisory Enforcement Attorney, said, “It is gratifying that Judge Biro upheld our complaint in the Service Oil case and validated the hard work of our inspectors and case team."

The case stems from an EPA inspection in 2002.