Suit Against Drake Petroleum A Symptom Of Larger Contamination Problem

"Jeff Fulcher has spent $70,000 on legal fees and expert witnesses trying to get Drake Petroleum to clean up pollution that has crept from the Xtra Mart gas station in Westbrook to the business that Fulcher runs with his wife.

So forgive Fulcher if he takes a narrow, David vs. Goliath view of his dispute with Drake, which has employed three law firms to fight Fulcher in court. But the issue in Westbrook is actually part of a larger, statewide problem that is slowing or complicating cleanups of hundreds of contaminated sites in Connecticut.

A fund to reimburse gas stations and individuals for the cleanup of leaking underground tanks is empty. There's a backlog of $70 million in reimbursement applications waiting for a hearing by the fund's board. There are also $13 million in claims that have been approved by the board, but haven't been paid – because there's not enough money. The claims involve thousands of underground tanks."

Josh Kovner reports for the Hartford Courant June 25, 2011.

Source: Harford Courant, 06/27/2011