For Immediate Release - January 23, 2014

Owner of Bee Zee Gas in Sturbridge Penalized $1,900 for Failing to Notify MassDEP of a Release of Kerosene

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) assessed a $1,900 penalty to Omer Akisik, owner of Bee Zee Gas at 149 Charlton Road in Sturbridge, for failing to notify MassDEP of a release of kerosene at Bee Zee Gas as required by state environmental regulations.

In May 2012, a spill of 30 gallons of gasoline occurred at the property during a delivery. The delivery company notified MassDEP of the gasoline spill and conducted a cleanup. During the cleanup of the gasoline spill, the environmental consultant employed by the gasoline delivery company discovered that a prior release of kerosene had also occurred on the property, as shown by the presence of kerosene in test pits dug there.

In May and again in July 2012, the cleanup contractor informed Mr. Akisik of the pre-existing kerosene release. Under the law, Mr. Akisik was required to notify MassDEP within 72 hours of obtaining knowledge of the release of kerosene, but he did not. MassDEP learned of the release when it audited the submittals made by the delivery company that took responsibility for the gasoline release.

"The privatized spill cleanup system relies on timely notification by owners and other responsible parties whenever a reportable condition of pollution is identified," said Lee Dillard Adams, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "Timely notification is critical because it enables MassDEP to screen or audit private clean-ups and to identify cases where immediate, state-funded response actions are needed. In addition, because notifications are posted on MassDEP's web site, this informs the public about a release and how it is being addressed."

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.