Gas station owner has until Tuesday to come up with clean-up plan |

Gas station owner has until Tuesday to come up with clean-up plan

The owner of the Cave Rock Country Store has until Feb. 16 to submit an acceptable plan to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection regarding the cleanup of gasoline and MTBE contamination at the store, according to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.

If Robert R. Hager, who owns and leases out the Cave Rock convenience store and gas station, does not submit an acceptable plan, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection may complete the work. Hager then would be required to reimburse the agency for the work.

Earlier this year, the underground storage tanks at the site were removed, and NDEP found evidence in the soil of gasoline compounds, including MTBE and benzene. A site characterization plan was originally due in August, which would reveal how big the contaminant plume is and the extent of the problem it has caused. Hager still has failed to have a plan completed.

Acting on behalf of the NDEP, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office in December filed a complaint in Douglas County District Court against Hager. The Attorney General’s Office and Hager signed a stipulation order Thursday, requiring Hager to comply with various cleanup efforts.

Within seven days after NDEP has determined Hager’s plan is acceptable, Hager must start remediation.

MTBE from the contamination has reached a nearby stream that flows directly into Lake Tahoe. Two nearby residential wells have been contaminated with MTBE, and the residents have been using alternative sources of drinking water for several months.

MTBE is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a possible cancer-causing agent. Even at very low levels, MTBE-contaminated water is undrinkable because it smells and tastes horrible.

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