Truck stop owners to pay $80,000 penalty

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined the former owners and operators of Speedy’s Truck Stop, Lupton, Arizona, $80,000 for violating federal hazardous waste and community right-to-know laws.

The violations at the Lupton, Arizona facility were found following a series of inspections by Navajo Nation EPA, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the United States EPA in 2004. Inspectors uncovered violations of federal standards governing the handling and storage of hazardous waste. Among the violations were mislabeled, unlabeled hazardous waste, including benzene-contaminated wastewater, inadequate record keeping of a hazardous waste storage facility, failure to obtain a permit, mismanagement of used oil, failure to properly train employees and failure to comply with community right-to-know laws. The defendants in the complaint were Mark Nicholson, Brian Nicholson, the Dale A. Nicholson Trust, the Nicholson Children Trust, Speedy’s Convenience Inc., and Native American Energy LLC.

In 2004, EPA emergency responders were on site to oversee the removal of approximately 1,900 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated soil along with the removal of approximately 23,000 gallons of benzene-contaminated wastewater.