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In what is being described as the largest settlement of its kind in Ohio, the deal includes former gas stations and convenience stores in 26 counties where petroleum was released from underground storage tanks. Four of the stations are in Franklin County, two are in Marion County, two in Richland County and one each in Delaware, Knox, Union and Wayne counties.
Premcor will pay $3,000 per county for enforcement costs, a total of $78,000 for the 26 counties, in addition to the $4 million in civil penalties, according to the newspaper. Premcor owned and operated a number of Clark gas stations throughout Ohio.
"This agreement will give these Ohio communities peace of mind, knowing both that the sites will be properly examined and that those responsible will be held accountable," Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray told the newspaper.
Premcor issued a statement noting the company's predecessor, Clark Refining & Marketing Inc., sold the majority of the sites more than a decade ago. When the new owner went bankrupt, a court sold the properties again and placed cleanup responsibilities on the new owner, the statement noted.
"Ohio has taken the position that Premcor is still responsible for the cleanup of these properties," the statement said. Since 2005, the company has spent "millions of dollars remediating" 37 sites that will require no further action.
"Premcor continues to complete the remediation at the remaining sites and looks forward to completing all such work in the near future," the statement said. "Premcor will continue to work closely with Ohio to complete that work."