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U.S. EPA orders Speedy's Truck Stop to cleanup petroleum pollution

Release Date: 4/14/2004
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, EPA, (415) 947-4248

Facility ordered to clean up hazardous substances

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered Speedy's Truck Stop to stop illegal releases of hazardous and solid wastes, and to clean up contaminants and hazardous substances from its truck stop and refining facility in Lupton, Ariz.

The order requires the company to immediately cease all discharges and unpermitted releases of oil, and to prepare a plan to investigate and clean up oil and hazardous substances released at the facility, and onto nearby private and tribal properties.

Today's order follows investigations by the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality earlier this year to address contamination at the truck stop and refining facility.

"Speedy's cannot continue to delay cleanup over legal technicalities," said Keith Takata, the U.S. EPA's Superfund director for the Pacific Southwest region. "The Navajo Nation, state of Arizona and the EPA all agree this facility needs to clean up its act."

"There are serious violations of environmental laws at this facility," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "We will be working closely with the Navajo Nation and EPA to make sure it is cleaned up."

On Feb. 24, Navajo and state environmental staff found the facility had equipment leaking ethanol and other petroleum products. The Navajo Nation EPA and ADEQ inspected Speedy's after a citizen notified the Navajo Nation EPA that the facility had been dumping oily wastes onto nearby properties.

"Navajo Nation EPA welcomes this enforcement action and the commitment by the EPA to fulfill its trust responsibility," said Stephen B. Etsitty, the executive director for the Navajo Nation EPA. "I would like to thank ADEQ Director Steve Owens for his leadership in elevating NNEPA's concerns, while recognizing our tribal sovereignty. NNEPA is committed to working with the EPA and ADEQ to protect our people and our resources from harmful pollution."

The U.S. EPA has taken action against both Speedy's and a related facility, Krystal Energy, numerous times in recent years. In 1999, Speedy's agreed to pay a penalty for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. In 2002, the U.S. EPA cited Speedy's for violations of the federal Clean Air Act. The violations included failure to monitor for smog-forming volatile organic compounds leaks and failure to submit reports. Also in 2002, the U.S. EPA issued an order requiring cleanup of oil releases at the nearby Krystal Energy facility.

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