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Gas station owner faces fines for soil contamination problems
in Gays Mills
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David D. Mageland, former owner of the Gays Mills BP-also known as the Gays Mills Amoco, has been ordered to pay the state $10,506 in forfeitures, statutory fees, and prosecuting costs for violating a July 17, 2013-administrative order requiring him to take responsibility for soil contamination at the gas station site found in October 2011.

In addition to the payment, Mageland has also been ordered to investigate the nature and extent of petroleum product and diesel range organic contamination found in the soil of the former Gays Mills BP gas station he had operated, and to take any action necessary to restore the environment.

The Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office sought the judgment against Mageland on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

According to the complaint filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice upon referral by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mageland's now-defunct LLC (Limted Liability Corporation) owned the gas station in question from 2001 until April 2011. Mageland operated the station until November 2010, when he emptied the gasoline and diesel tanks. In February 2011, he negotiated the sale of the gas station property to the Village of Gays Mills, which was relocating buildings and businesses out of the Kickapoo River floodplain. The village paid more than $350,000 for the gas station property. A contingency in its offer required the seller to complete all site remediation, and it provided for the creation of a $14,500 escrow account to cover remediation costs.

The complaint stated that petroleum product contamination was found in October 2011.  The DNR directed Mageland to retain a consultant to complete a site investigation and follow the remediation requirements provided by law, but Mageland refused.  He stated that while his insurance company would cover the costs of the release, he was responsible for a $10,000 deductible that he had no intention of paying.  The DNR attempted to work with Mageland, but when he refused to take action, the DNR ordered compliance and Mageland did not appeal DNR's order.

Wisconsin's hazardous waste substances spills law requires that persons who possess or control hazardous substances discharged to the environment take responsibility for the discharge and take actions necessary to restore the environment to the extent practicable and to minimize the harmful effects from the discharge to the air, lands or waters of the state. The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that responsible parties fulfill their obligations under the law.

Assistant Attorney General Diane L. Milligan represented the State of Wisconsin.  The judgment was signed by Crawford County Circuit Court Judge James P. Czajkowski on November 14, 2014.

Mageland has until January 13, 2015 to pay the judgment; until March 15, 2015 to hire a consultant to create a work plan; and until May 1, 2015 to submit a site investigation report detailing the extent of contamination and how it will be addressed for approval by the DNR.

Mageland could not be reached for comment.