State fines remain unpaid |

State fines remain unpaid

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The state Attorney General’s Office is trying to collect more than $260,000 in fines from two South Shore gas station operators for ignoring needed environmental work.

Sarbjit “Sam” Kang, of South Lake Tahoe, and Azad Amiri, of Concord, Calif., have owed the money to Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board since it issued the fines in October 1999.

The pair are accused of failing to address issues related to the treatment of MTBE-laced groundwater at the Meyers Beacon and the Swiss Mart Food & Gas at Emerald Bay Road.

“What are they trying to do at the Swiss Mart?” said Kang, before deferring to his partner, Amiri who could not be reached for comment. Gregory Lyons, an attorney in Oakland who represents Kang and Amiri, was contacted but did not comment on the case.

Lahontan and the attorney general are seeking an injunction to stop operation of the Swiss Mart because of an unpaid $154,000-fine, said Chuck Kurtis, supervising engineer at Lahontan.

A hearing for the case is scheduled Friday at El Dorado County Superior Court in Placerville.

Kang and Amiri, who Kang said are not related by blood, recently became owners of the Meyers Beacon after they bought it at public auction for $200,000.

On July 25, the El Dorado County Department of Environmental Management locked the gas pumps at the station because the partners failed to file required paperwork at the Recorder’s Office. The station remains closed.

According to USA Petroleum, Kang bought two gas stations at South Lake Tahoe, at 1140 Emerald Bay Road and 2762 Highway 50, for $2.5 million on Dec. 7, 2001. They are now called American Gasoline.

MTBE water treatment at those stations is being paid for by former station owners, Kurtis said.

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